A city audit of the Fort Worth Police Auto Pound found inaccurate records of cars on the lot and faulted long delays in depositing checks from auctioned vehicles.
One-thousand cars a month are towed to the sprawling lot on Brennan Avenue. About 800 leave.
The cars are towed by police for various reasons. Some were abandoned or involved in accidents. Others were recovered after they were reported stolen. Some are towed after drivers are arrested.
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The pound is located on 21 acres that used to be a landfill.
The audit found several discrepancies:
- Records showed hundreds of cars were there but apparently weren't.
- Other cars were there that were not supposed to be.
- On average last year, abandoned cars sat on the lot for more than six months before they were auctioned. A car is considered abandoned after just one month.
- Checks from auctioned vehicles didn't get deposited for up to five months, only to be put into the wrong account.
Auditors also found fluid leaking from some cars and going straight into a storm sewer, raising environmental concerns.
Drainage problems caused large puddles of water to form on the unpaved lot after storms, raising environmental concerns, the audit said.
Auditors made a number of recommendations. The police department accepted almost all of them and many have already been put in place.
The audit blamed City Hall staffers – not police – for the financial issues, like delayed deposits.
The police department is considering outsourcing the auto pound's operations, according to the audit.