CALUMET CITY | The Police Department issued a statement Wednesday saying “Operation Bootlock” is their new program by which anyone with three or more unpaid tickets can have their cars booted, and ultimately towed away.
The program is in cooperation with the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, by which tickets issued in various suburban communities count toward the total.
Police Chief Edward L. Gilmore said the department is sending out notices to people with multiple unpaid tickets on their records that they have 21 days to pay off their tickets or make arrangements to pay them off.
Those who do not will then face the possibility of having their cars immobilized or towed.
“We’re implementing this plan, we’re letting people know now what will happen to them if they don’t take care of their tickets,” Gilmore said.
Police said in their statement they would be sending notices to the addresses on record with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, and that not receiving such a notice would not be acceptable as a defense by someone whose car is eligible for booting.
When the City Council approved the measure in February 2011, Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush said the city was owed more than $1 million in unpaid fines, and officials hoped this new program would persuade people to pay up, rather than risk losing their automobiles. Police said Wednesday they were not able to implement the program sooner.
The city clerk’s office previously has offered local residents a chance to pay up their tickets to avoid losing their cars.
Police, in their statement, said many people who will be impacted by the new program do not actually live in Calumet City, although they likely work in Calumet City or pass through the city on a regular basis.