Gladewater’s Warrant Program proves success for city
Officer Barnett increases Municipal Warrant Service (Class C) by over 67% from prior years.
Gladewater, Texas, May 30, 2014:
With over 1 million dollars in Class” C” Arrest Warrants in 2012, The City of Gladewater created a new position for a Warrant Officer to assist the court in clearing these warrants.
Like many small to medium departments Municipal Warrant Execution becomes difficult due to high call volume and low man power. In 2012, at the request of Judge Blalock, Gladewater City Council approved a Part-Time Warrant Officer position for the court specifically to focus on outstanding arrest warrants for the City of Gladewater.
In Fiscal Year 2011, before the position was created, there were 666 Local Arrest Warrants Cleared by the Police Department. In December 2012, Officer Tim Barnett was hired for the position. The program did not completely get up and running until March 2013. After 8 months, Cleared Warrants increased by 67.34% from 2012. Out of 989 Total Cleared Warrants that year, 467 were cleared by the new warrant program. With half of 2014 year almost completed, total cleared warrants are 606 with 438 cleared by the warrant program. This new program is on track to clear over 1200 warrants this fiscal year. Gladewater is serious about their warrant service.
Barnett says there are many ways we clear these warrants. One method is making contact with the violator by phone, mail or social media advising them of the outstanding warrant. Some folks have forgotten about it and just need to be reminded; others require a different approach, Barnett states. Officer Barnett says many times he will show up to effect an arrest at a violators place of business, their home or even while having dinner at a their favorite restaurant. Since arrest warrants are directed to Texas Peace Officers, these warrants are not confined just to the City of Gladewater City Limits, We will serve our warrants anywhere in Texas, he says.
In recent months, A Municipal Warrant Face book Page was created to communicate to page followers about wanted persons. Individuals with Arrest Warrants are posted on this page until they have taken care of their business with Gladewater Courts. With almost 900 followers, when a person is posted here with their picture, within minutes we are receiving information on the whereabouts of the wanted person, It works very well, Barnett says.
Gladewater also places their warrants in a system called Warrant Sync. This allows multiple agencies to share information on active warrants with participating agencies. Local agencies that have access to this system is Smith County, White Oak Police Department, East Mountain Police Department, Hallsville Police Department and others coming on soon. In addition to this database we also send our active warrants to DPS to “Flag” violators Drivers License to the active warrant. Barnett says that as he is serving Gladewater Warrants he is also actively looking for warrants for other agencies as well. He uses a public website www.texasfailuretoappear.com to search for outstanding warrants. Anyone can have access to look at this information.
Barnett says, in regards to City of Gladewater Warrants, Judge Blalock generally works with any person that wants to clear up their warrant(s) prior to an arrest. This works out much better for the wanted person. An arrest may cost much more than the warrant itself. When an arrest takes place there are usually impound charges, lost time at work, embarrassment and additional court costs from the original charge. Our goal is to clear up the warrant and not make the arrest unless needed.
If you believe you may have an outstanding arrest warrant from the City of Gladewater contact Officer Barnett at (903) 845-2196 before it is too late.