CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — Following an ABC27 investigation, Camp Hill Borough Council voted Wednesday night to approve a new policy that changes the borough’s towing practices.
An ABC27 report in November showed Camp Hill and West Shore Regional Police Departments were favoring G.A. Smith Towing. Drivers said they were forced to use G.A. Smith after crashes and were not allowed to call a towing company of their choice. Sources in both departments said the police chiefs directed officers to call G.A. Smith for incidents requiring towing after a mechanic the chiefs knew began working there.
The drivers showed ABC27 high towing bills and expressed concerns they were being overcharged because of the police relationship with G.A. Smith.
The council unanimously voted to pass a new police towing policy that makes it clear drivers can choose their own towing companies, as long as their choice can arrive in a reasonable amount of time.
If the driver has no preference, or if the driver’s choice cannot arrive in a reasonable amount of time, the new towing policy requires police to use a rotating tow vendor list comprised of at least two towing companies.
Camp Hill is inviting towing companies to submit proposals in order to qualify for the list.
(Click here to read Camp Hill’s new towing policy.)
Council members say they vetted the policy in Camp Hill’s Public Safety Committee. Camp Hill does not open its committee meetings to the public, and people who attended Wednesday night’s meeting questioned why they were not included in the process
Chris Courogen spoke during public comment, expressing concern that Camp Hill is violating Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act by holding private committee meetings. Council President Pro Tem Leigh Twiford told ABC27 the council is considering opening committee meetings to the public but has not made any final decisions.