Recently the Dallas Morning News reported on how some police office relish the chance to arrest scofflaws during the Great Texas Warrant Roundup “as if it were spring break.”
The round-up targets offenders who have evaded low-level violations such as traffic citations. Although these violations do not carry heavy sentences if they are quickly processed, offenders who don’t go to court can end up facing jail time.
“I’ve been doing it for a while, and I enjoy it,” Weldon Paul, who works in the Dallas city marshal’s office, was quoted as saying in the article.
“We’re adults, and we have responsibilities,” Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez added. “We’re here to help you accept that responsibility.”
The article stated the roundup begins March 9 and involves more than 300 agencies. It focuses primarily on Class C citations. Police said people with such offenses often have many other active arrest warrants. The Dallas Morning News reported on how more than 150 agencies in North Texas are coordinating efforts. “In Dallas alone, there are 523,000 cases and $191,000 owed on pending warrants.”
“I’ve arrested people with 29 tickets,” stated Christopher Nixon, who also works in the city marshal’s office.
The roundup is not necessarily within a defined time frame. The article said it will last until police feel they’ve made an impact on the backlog. The arrival of new technology in recent years has made it easier to track down scofflaws.
Nixon said this year’s operation would be more aggressive. Texas has a Scofflaw Program which is found under a section of the Texas Transportation Code, which is designed to help county and municipal governments “hold law breakers accountable,” by allowing a Tax Assessor-Collector of a county to reject vehicle registrations for customers with outstanding fines, fees, taxes, or who have failed to appear in a municipal or county court.
The program helps counties to increase collections of justice of the peace, county court of law, county clerk, property taxes and municipal court fines and fees.