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Clearing warrants: Rowlett officers ready to arrest those with unpaid tickets
The Rowlett Police Department is gearing up to look for people with outstanding warrants as part of the Great Texas Warrant Roundup that takes place from Saturday, Feb. 23, through Sunday, March 3.
Rowlett police join approximately 160 law enforcement jurisdictions throughout North Texas as part of the roundup. The warrant roundup is designed to track down people with outstanding warrants and force them to pay, either with money or jail time.
"We are trying to clear all of our outstanding warrants," said Janet Miller, warrant clerk.
The Rowlett Municipal Court has approximately 7,000 outstanding warrants with a face value of $1.8 million. Anyone with an outstanding warrant is encouraged to pay their fines prior to the beginning of the roundup to avoid the possibility of arrest.
"We tell people to negotiate with us to take care of the warrant before the officer shows up at your door. When that happens it's too late," Miller said. "It's best for people to call us and at least make the effort to clear the warrant than to face arrest."
Police officials say there are options available to warrant offenders that don't require that they be immediately arrested. The time to discuss those options is before officers arrive at their door. By that time, it's too late and offenders will be posting a bond, paying their fine or immediately going to jail.
"There are options available for those that qualify. We do offer payment plans to those people that meet the criteria. Don't be afraid to call us and work something out," Miller said.
Last year the municipal court cleared 234 warrants with a face value of $54,035.
"The roundup and its success are extremely important to the community. It shows everyone that violators will be held accountable and makes the city a safer place," Miller said.
Individuals who have outstanding warrants for their arrest and who wish to avoid being contacted by law enforcement and jailed should contact the Rowlett warrant division at 972-463-3938 to arrange to clear their warrants.
"We usually have one warrant officer, and it's her job to serve the warrants. During the roundup all of the officers will be serving warrants. We will have multiple officers on the streets trying to clear the warrants," Miller said.
As part of the roundup, the Rowlett Police Department is offering an amnesty period for persons with failure to appear (FTA) warrants. From 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, through 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, people who have FTA warrants will have those dismissed upon payment of their original offense. This will result in a cost savings of $300 to persons who have such warrants.
There is no special court date or hearing required to have an FTA warrant dismissed during the amnesty period. To have an FTA warrant dismissed, an individual can come to the court window during normal business hours, contact the warrant clerk at 972-463-3938 or visit the city's website, www.rowlett.com.
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