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N4T Investigators: Drivers facing delays getting accident coverage due to Tucson Police report backlog

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Some drivers who find themselves in an accident in Tucson may be waiting a long time to get coverage from their insurance companies due to a backlog within the Tucson Police Department Records Division.

Manuel Bonorand from Nogales learned the hard way. In October he was involved in an accident in Tucson that was determined to not be his fault, he had no issues getting insurance information from the other driver but found himself waiting months to get covered.

"I am not liable however my insurance company will not process a claim without an accident report," he said.

Bonorand ended up waiting more than six months. After a while he chose to pay around $1,400 to get his car out of a Tucson tow yard. He also had to pay for a rental car.

"I was told it's a three month backlog, I went back in December and was told it's a three month backlog," he explained.

It took him going and speaking up during an April 4th City Council meeting to get his report. He explained his situation to the City Council and Mayor.

Mayor Regina Romero asked the City Manager to look into the issue and stated it was not the first time she's heard about the problem.

Soon after the meeting Bonorand received an email from the City saying he would soon receive the report, he did two days later.

"It was a way to brush me aside. I think the real issue is fixing the problem."

The News 4 Tucson Investigators made multiple requests to interview Mayor Romero about the issue but she hasn't spoken to us about it.

The Tucson Police Department also declined to do an interview but provided data showing their records department is down eight staff members and two supervisors.

City Manager Michael Ortega agreed to an interview. He told the N4T Investigators the problem is complex. He said it's a mixture of low staffing and low pay as well as a larger work load as records staff are having to process more time consuming requests for things like body camera footage.

"Part of the challenge is how do we rethink how we provide that service," he said.

Ortega said it's an issue the City has been working to resolve for more than a year and he hopes it will be fixed within a few weeks.

"That is a top priority for Chief Kasmar and myself. We will continue to push hard to get that in place now to relieve some of those backlogs we have," he said.

TPD told us they are experiencing a three month backlog currently.

Bonorand just hopes it's fixed fast, he worries about people who can not afford to get their cars out of tow yards or do not have other forms of transportation. He believes someone should be held accountable for the situation.

"It shouldn't be like this, any other profession you'd probably be fired for being six months late," Bonorand said. 

If you have a story you'd like us to investigate email us at or call our tip line at 520-955-4444. 

If you have a story you'd like us to investigate, email us at or call our tip line at 520-955-4444.

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