Top cops in Rock Island County are urging people with outstanding warrants to turn themselves or risk being arrested in an upcoming police sweep.
“We’re encouraging people between now and June 28th to take care of their warrants at the risk of being arrested”, said Sheriff Jeff Boyd at a news conference in Rock Island Wednesday.
“Or take an hour out of their day on June 28th to clear it up”, Boyd said. On that day, the courthouse will be equipped with a team of judges and prosecutors to handle people who want to turn themselves in.
“The states attorney’s office will have prosecutors here, we’ll have judges lined up and the goal is to get these warrants, many of which are contempt of court warrants, cleared up”, Sheriff Boyd said.
Right now, there are about 8 thousand outstanding arrest warrants in the county, from unpaid fines and fees to felonies.
“Many of them are people who have just failed to pay their particular fines and judges have issued bench warrants for them because they are not doing what the court has ordered them to do”, said States Attorney John McGehee.
Authorities say they are formulating a list of offenders and will coordinate a county-wide sweep at the end of the month with local police departments and the Illinois State Police.
“It will go a lot smoother if they turn themselves in. If a police officer has to pick them up, they’re going to have to come down here to the jail and be processed, so it’s much better if they show up”, he said.
Circuit Clerk Lisa Bierman says non-payment of fines and fees is a big problem for the county.
“We have in excess of a million dollars out there overall”, said Bierman.
The last warrant sweep was conducted back in 2005.