On Monday, Knoxville Chief of Police Paul Noel announced that the Knoxville Police Department (KPD) will no longer respond to certain non-injury crashes beginning September 1st.

A press release by the city of Knoxville states that “KPD officers will no longer respond to minor, non-injury crashes unless a car is disabled in the roadway and requires a tow truck or other specific factors are involved.”

Meanwhile, KPD officers will continue to respond to crashes that result in injury or death; crashes involving a suspected intoxicated driver; crashes involving an unlicensed or uninsured driver; crashes that result in a disabled vehicle in the road; crashes involving a disorderly or uncooperative party; crashes involving a hazmat situation; and crashes resulting in damage to other property.

“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,” Chief Noel said in a statement. “We want to recapture that time so that we can focus our efforts on being visible in city neighborhoods and addressing violent crime.”

If involved in a non-injury crash, drivers “will be advised to move their car out of the roadway to a safe location, civilly exchange information, take cellphone photos and share the applicable information with their respective insurance companies, and file required documents with the state,” KPD notes.

KPD is administering the change in their response to roadway crashes based off an analysis of recent crash data that revealed KPD officers “cumulatively spend around 24 hours per day working minor, non-injury crashes when factoring in the time it takes to get to the call, collect the relevant information, and complete the report.”

For more information, please visit www.KnoxvilleTN.gov/Crash.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.