Knoxville police to no longer respond to certain non-injury crashes, chief says

Officers will no longer respond to some wrecks, KPD Chief Paul Noel said.
Officers will no longer respond to some wrecks, KPD Chief Paul Noel said.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 10:23 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 12:23 PM EDT
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Knoxville Police Not Responding to Some Crashes

Chief Noel speaks after announcing KPD officers will not respond to some crashes, beginning Sept. 1. https://bit.ly/3SeGpLV

Posted by WVLT on Monday, August 1, 2022

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Beginning Sept. 1, Knoxville Police Department officers will no longer be responding to some non-injury crashes, Chief Paul Noel announced Monday morning.

Officers will no longer respond to minor, non-injury crashes unless a car is disabled in the road and needs a tow truck to move it, Noel said. This new policy is similar to one the department implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Minor, non-injury crashes occupy a lot of our officers’ time and minimize our ability to respond more quickly to higher priority calls or conduct proactive traffic enforcement initiatives to actually prevent serious crashes from happening,” Noel said. “We want to recapture that time so that we can focus our efforts on being visible in city neighborhoods and addressing violent crime.”

According to Noel, crash data revealed that officers cumulatively spend around 24 hours a day working minor, non-injury crashes.

Officers are also going to continue to report to crashes involving injuries, deaths, suspected intoxicated drivers, unlicensed or uninsured drivers, disabled vehicles or crashes that involve an uncooperative party.

“This is really a minor change to our operations so that we can focus more narrowly on what is essential to our core mission as a department,” Noel said. “This is also just a small piece of a larger strategic vision. We are taking a close look at how, when and where officers are deployed so that we can more effectively address higher priority public safety issues and concerns.”

Instead, Noel suggested that drivers involved in a crash instead move their cars to a safe location, exchange information, take pictures and file a report with the state.

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