ABANDONED VEHICLE CODE ENFORCEMENT SPECIALIST
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This work involves the investigation, identification, and disposition of vehicles either abandoned or impounded within Montgomery County. Contacts include citizens inquiring about abandoned/impounded vehicles, title company representatives, resident managers of apartment and condominium complexes, service station and towing company owners or representatives, and representatives and employees of other law enforcement and regulatory agencies, primarily to provide and receive information about abandoned and impounded vehicles. Language barriers may be significant. Public service/assistance is provided on a daily basis in response to requests from the public or from police officers to investigate abandoned/impounded vehicles. Appropriate assistance can usually be provided within a short time frame based on readily identifiable information.
An employee in this class enforces County and State codes covering abandoned vehicles by performing an array of related functions, from identification of violation(s) through tagging and towing to resolution through vehicle auction or disposal or return to its rightful owner. Work involves the independent performance of recurring tasks carried out in accordance with clearly prescribed State and County laws and unit procedures. Significant deviations and very unusual situations not covered by guidelines (including past practice) are usually referred to the supervisor in person or by telephone or radio for instruction and resolution; however, the remote location of the supervisor and context of the work typically do not permit close supervision and work is often not reviewed until it undergoes further processes. Seasoned judgement, within the bounds of well established community policing practices, is regularly required to solve problems in sound ways accomplish the task at hand while promoting good relationships with the citizenry or preventing or minimizing conflicts. The work requires a measure of exactness to identify vehicle numbers, histories and current ownership, which are the bases for immediate impounded (such as, stolen car, outstanding tickets, and hit and run) and for processing the sale of abandoned/impounded vehicles. The work helps provide safer and more attractive neighborhoods and the return of stolen vehicles to owners, and generates revenue for the County as a result of the collection of fines and fees. Work is performed in three environments: an office setting where the employee uses computer databases, types forms/reports, maintains files, collects money from owners and performs similar office tasks; the County storage lot where the employee checks in towed vehicles and helps prepare them for auction, and the field (streets, public property and private property) where the employee responds to citizen complaints, patrols for and identifies violations, responds to Police requests for impoundment, and performs similar tasks. Field work mainly requires light physical effort (standing, walking, bending, etc.) to assess violations, obtain vehicle identification numbers and talk with citizens. It sometimes requires medium physical to tow vehicles using a conventional or rollback tow truck. Field and storage lot work expose the employee to inclement weather, bruises, cuts, grease, slips/falls and hidden dangers in vehicles, such as bees, rats, and snakes. Field work exposes the employee to traffic and road hazards and "hot spots." There is unpredictable exposure to criminals and wanted persons. All three environments sometimes expose the employee to aggressive, hostile or verbally abusive persons. Overtime is typically required on a monthly basis for auction and auction preparation.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Receives and compiles reports and complaints from citizens, ECC-911 staff, Police patrol officers, other Specialists in the field, and other people via telephone, radio or mail.
Investigates complaints concerning abandoned motor vehicles. Physically locates vehicle, determines if code violations or hazards exist and takes appropriate action(s), such as notifies Housing or Health officials, tags vehicle, checks for ownership and notifies owner of problem (seeking voluntary compliance), reports to Police District as stolen and for recovery, arranges for tow or takes other measures.
Inventories vehicle and contents by removing valuable property, confiscating illegal property, disposing of any hazardous material and completing a detailed report for entry into the computer system.
Answers inquiries concerning State and County laws and regulations, including procedures for release of vehicles to citizens, insurance companies, and lien-holders.
Searches databases for vehicle identification number, title and other information, prepares and processes reports, drafts letters and maintains case files.
Appears in Court as witness on violations and chain of evidence.
Receives vehicles from towing companies and oversees storage lot (Impound/Abandoned Vehicle Facility).
As assigned, tows vehicles using a conventional or rollback tow truck.
Processes release of vehicles (such as, collecting monies, verifying ownership, balancing receipts, completing report, depositing monies).
Prepares vehicles for auction (such as, selecting vehicles to be auctioned, prying vehicle trunks open, removing property and tags, attaching sales ticket) and processes related papers and money.
On a rotating basis, produces a video of auctions, moving through the crowd to fully document the process; helps catalog videos and maintain the video library.
Transfers auctioned vehicle information to the Liability Program for notification, research, collection and flagging of registered owners liable for the expenses incurred as the result of failure to reclaim their vehicles.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: One (1) year of work experience which includes some public contact.
Education: Completion of high school or High School Certificate of completion recognized in the State of Maryland.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of State and County codes and Police Department and unit procedures concerning abandoned vehicles, vehicle ownership and registration, towing and disposition plus familiarity with County housing and health codes and policies to determine course(s) of action.
Knowledge of County streets, alleys, neighborhoods and private properties and skill in reading street maps to respond to complaints and transmit information to others.
Knowledge of NADA, NCIC and MILES databases and manuals to identify vehicle value, history and ownership.
Ability to effectively and tactfully communicate with citizens and vehicle owners of diverse backgrounds and education levels face-to-face, by telephone and in writing.
Ability to describe objects, events and circumstances orally and in writing.
Ability to prepare routine reports, elementary statistical information, and brief, factual correspondence.
Ability to operate a calculator, copier, video camera and other equipment.
Ability to work with numbers and make mathematical calculations, including cashier-type computations.
Ability to type at the net rate of 25 words per minute.
Ability to operate a conventional and rollback tow truck after receiving appropriate training.
Ability to occasionally and independently lift and/or otherwise move items weighing as much as 50 pounds.
Ability to pass a police background investigation and obtain and maintain certification to use restricted databases (NCIC and MILES).
At Time of Employment Application: Possession of a valid, current Class "C" (or equivalent) motor vehicle operator's license from the applicant's state of residence.
Upon Completion of Tow Truck Operator Training by Montgomery County: Possession of a Class "B" Commercial Driver's License, with air brakes endorsement, from the employee's state of residence.
Individuals appointed or promoted to a position in this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months. Performance will be carefully evaluated during the probationary period. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core Exam
Class Established: May, 1981
Revised: March, 1987
December, 1994 (M)
December, 2000 (M)
Formerly Titled: Abandoned Vehicle Specialist