DID YOU KNOW...
The Montgomery Police Department administers this program in accordance with the national WATCH YOUR CAR program guidelines.
A significant number of auto thefts are committed during the early morning hours when the owners are asleep and unaware that their vehicles have been stolen. In many instances, a stolen car can be driven to a "chop shop" or across State lines before the owner awakens to discover the theft.
If a vehicle is not stolen for the purpose of resale or disassembly for the procurement of its parts, it may be used in the commission of another crime. In any event, a thief wants to avoid being noticed and will forgo vehicles that draw the attention of law enforcement officials.
The purpose of the Watch Your Car program is to identify vehicles that are not routinely operated during the early morning hours or near international land borders or ports so that law enforcement officers can investigate auto theft before a stolen vehicle report has been filed.
We want to help reduce the incidence of vehicle theft in Montgomery by deterrence and by arrest of automobile thieves, apprehended because of the efforts of the WATCH YOUR CAR program.
HOW TO REGISTER
1. Bring your vehicle, registration, and photo ID to the Montgomery Police Department, Community Policing Division; or other announced registration sites.
You can register for the program at The Montgomery Police Department's Community Oriented Policing Division, 3046 Fairwest Place, Montgomery, AL 36108, from 0800 to 1700 hours. For citizen convenience, alternate sign up locations will regularly be set up in various communities. You may call (334) 240-4800 for more information about the program.
2. Complete a program registration and waiver form, and provide a $2.00 registration fee for each participating vehicle.
The vehicle owner wishing to participate in the "Watch Your Car" program will be required to sign a registration/waiver form consenting to the provisions of the "Watch Your Car" Program. The owner must understand the following:
3. Verify the completed information and sign the registration / waiver form.
4. Front and rear window decals will be provided, along with instructions and cancellation forms for the program.
Upon registration, the decals will be properly placed on the vehicle, according to the "WATCH YOUR CAR" program guidelines.
Windshield decal: Indicates that a law enforcement officer has authority to stop the vehicle, between the program hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. The decal contains all the legal information and notification that it is a federal offense to remove the decal without the owner's permission.
Rear window decal : "WATCH YOUR CAR" logo decal indicates to a law enforcement officer, approaching from the rear, that the vehicle is registered in the program.
Sticker Placement The front (small rectangular) decal should be placed on the front windshield, on the exterior face of glass, directly above the inside rear view mirror. The rear (round decal) should be placed on the outside lower left corner of the rear window.
FAQCan an automobile owner consent to a voluntary stop of his or her automobile through voluntary participation in the Watch Your Car program?
An automobile owner can consent to a voluntary stop of his or her automobile through participation in the program. The program is voluntary; neither states nor citizens are required to participate in the program.
Consequently, when a person submits a program application form, he or she voluntarily consents to have his or her automobile stopped during the program hours for the purpose of determining the ownership of the automobile and the identity of the driver.
What happens if a car is stopped?
The registrant is informed that law enforcement officers will take certain precautions when stopping a vehicle during the program hours or when the vehicle is near an international land border or port, because the vehicle is suspected of being stolen.
Can an officer initiate a sobriety test if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the operator is driving under the influence of alcohol?
The decal provides the authority for an officer to stop an automobile displaying the decal during the program hours. As mentioned earlier, if an officer stops an automobile displaying the Watch Your Car decal, the officer would have the same authority to enforce the law he or she would have when stopping an automobile for any other reason.
Therefore, the administration of a breathalyzer test pursuant to an Watch Your Car stop would be permitted, provided there was probable cause to administer such test.
How would a car owner withdraw from the "Watch Your Car" Program?
To withdraw from the program, the owner must report to the Montgomery Police Department Community Policing Division (3046 Fairwest Place) so that a Cancellation form may be completed, and then completely remove the decals and/or stickers from the car. The owner must also do this when selling the car or transferring ownership.
Source: Montgomery Police Department