Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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March 1, 2014

Warrant round-up

Malakoff joins state-wide effort to collect on citations

Athens — A statewide Warrant Roundup involving more than 300 law enforcement agencies throughout the state kicked off on Saturday.

It’s a joint effort to get thousands of defendants with traffic, parking, city ordinance, penal code and higher charge warrants to clean their slate.

Malakoff City Judge Bill Burton said his city participated last year and found it useful in lowering the number of outstanding warrants on the roll.

“It’s a statewide emphasis on existing warrants. Last year was my first year here and it was pretty successful,” Malakoff City Judge Bill Burton said. “This year it’s even better. We’ve already gotten several calls.”

Burton said he has been contacted by several local citizens and even from out of state citizens making sure they aren’t wanted.

“Sometimes it’s just an  oversight,” Burton said. “We try to take care of it without having to arrest anyone.”

Burton said there are about 1,200 existing warrants that he’d like citizens to cleared.

Most of those involve some sort of traffic offense in which a fine was assessed.

According to TexasWarrantRoundup.org, hundreds of thousands of notices have been mailed statewide since the program began Feb.14.

Starting March 1, officers will be checking the list when an individual is stopped on traffic or during other incidents where police have responded.

Anyone on the list will be arrested.  In the year 2011, there were more than 4,000 arrests around the state due to the program.

“I think the visibility we’ve gotten in the news media has been helpful in creating awareness,” Burton said. “Again the intent is not to arrest anyone.”

  If a citizen is arrested on a Class C misdemeanor warrant, the violator will be taken before the Municipal Court Judge, if available, for arraignment and disposition of their case.

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