City of La Crosse Police Department booted more than 200 cars the last 12 months

If you’ve gotten a parking ticket before, usually it comes only with a one-time fee.

But if you’ve gotten several, your car could get the boot.

“Very specific in the ordinance that there has to be five or more citations that are over 60 days due,” Captain Jason Melby said.

It has been one year since La Crosse passed a law allowing the city’s police department to boot and tow cars.

“The goal is not to tow people’s vehicles,” Melby said. “And the goal is to not boot people’s vehicles.”

But they have, more than 200 times.

The department says it booted 228 cars since November last year. 57 people signed up for payment plans. The department received $77,000 through the fees.

“It has prompted many people to contact us and set up payment plans to avoid being booted,” Melby said.

And when it comes to avoiding getting towed, time is of the essence. A car’s owner needs to contact police within 24 hours of getting booted, or the car is towed.

“Unless the owner of the vehicle contacts us, makes arrangements, and we will return to the scene, and remove the boot ourselves,” Melby said.

And if you think about driving away…

“Once it clamps on, if they try to drive with it, it destroys their vehicle,” Melby said.

For the great majority, when their car got the boot, they got the message.

“Quite honestly, it seems to have worked,” Melby said.

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