By LeaAnne Klentzman
As rodeo season creeps up, Texas law enforcement is bringing a round up of a different sort to “the people’s” front door.
It is time again for the Great Texas Warrant Round-up. It begins on Friday, February 25 and runs through Sunday March 4, 2012. In Fort Bend County several police agencies are combining forces with over 300 law enforcement agencies statewide to arrest anyone with outstanding warrants. According to law enforcement officials beginning Feb. 25, officers will aggressively target persons across the state who have outstanding warrants. Lists of those warrants have been complied; arrests for those warrants can occur at any time, or at any location, which can include the defendant’s home, school, workplace, or just along the side of the road if you are stopped.
This is the 6th year for the Great Texas Warrant Round-up which is a coordinated effort of law enforcement officials across the state to clear out thousands of outstanding warrants. It is very important to note that this year, there is no amnesty being offered in conjunction with the Round-up. If you are caught, you will go to jail. Once the Round-up begins, the officers that have been assigned to the Task Force will work their way through the lists of those with an outstanding warrant and arrest them at work, home or wherever they find them. At specific issue being addressed by Houston Municipal Courts are parking violators who have multiple violations documented at multiple times a specific location.
A resource that is relatively new to the public will be at the disposal of law enforcement is the License Plate Recognition software and cameras that are affixed to area police cars in which they can cruise a parking lot or street and run multiple license plates at the same time, identify which cars have warrants affiliated with the license plate or the registered owner. If you work in Houston or park there and have outstanding tickets that have gone to warrant, take heed; they are looking for you. If you have an outstanding warrant, now is the time to take care of it to avoid possible arrest during the Great Texas Warrant Round-up. For more information on a specific warrant issue contact the agency where the offense occurred or the Justice or Municipal Court where the offense was assigned.
If you are wondering just how many warrants are floating around out there, the Houston Municipal system reports that just for the month of January there were over 300,000 outstanding warrants. Add that number to the thousands of other outstanding warrants from law enforcement agencies across the state who list their warrants in a statewide database and there is more than enough to keep all cops busy and coffers full.
For outstanding warrants in Houston Municipal Court call the Help line at 3-1-1 or visit www.houstontx.gov/courts, For warrants issued out of the Harris County Justice Courts visit www.jp.hctx.net. For outstanding warrants issued out of surrounding municipal and justice courts, contact the Court in that particular jurisdiction.
The local area agencies listed as participating in the Warrant Round-up are:
• Fulshear Police and Municipal Court
• Harris County law enforcement and Justice Courts
• Houston police and Houston Municipal Courts
• Katy police and Katy Municipal Court
• Missouri City police and Missouri City Municipal Court
• Rosenberg police and Rosenberg Municipal Court
• Stafford police and Stafford Municipal Court
While this is a list of active participants, it does NOT exclude any or all other agencies from serving outstanding warrants.
Remember, there will be no amnesty after the Round-up begins – you will be arrested.