by ANDY SEVILLA
Kyle has more than $3 million fallen by the wayside in uncollected fines due to outstanding warrants, but come this weekend, Kyle police are slated to hunt down the scofflaws.
Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said his department will join more than 300 jurisdictions from all across Texas in executing the 2013 Great Texas Warrant Roundup, beginning March 2.
“It’s designed to encourage people to come in and take care of their obligations to the court … We would prefer that they take care of that obligation prior to any contact from law enforcement,” Barnett said.
As of Monday morning, in Kyle alone, 8,242 warrants were outstanding totaling $3,053,162.30, according to Barnett.
“Even though we make progress on a daily basis with having a warrant officer, we also have more officers on duty and we have a traffic unit, and they’re writing up more traffic violations and whatnot, so that number ($3 million), we’re trying to keep up with it,” Barnett said.
Officials with the Buda Police Department said they, too, will participate in the warrant roundup, along with San Marcos Police, San Marcos Marshal’s Office and Hays County Constable, Pct. 1 David Peterson, according to news releases.
The roundup is designed to target thousands of defendants with traffic, parking, city ordinance, penal code and higher charge warrants from participating jurisdictions, according to an Austin Municipal Court news release.
“It is believed to be the largest joint operation of its kind with arrests expected to continue for several days,” the release said.
“At any point throughout that (roundup) period, we may partner with other nearby agencies, including Buda, Hays County, San Marcos and even Austin, to serve our city warrants; likewise those jurisdictions may come in to Kyle to serve their city warrants,” Barnett said. “But it’s really a cooperative effort between law enforcement agencies across the state to try and help one another get these large amount of warrants down.”
Barnett said persons with outstanding warrants will have two options – pay up or go to jail. He said his officers will allow persons affected to contact the court immediately and “take care of the fine in its entirety,” but if they are encountered after court business hours or they are not able to “take care of their obligations to the court,” then they will have no other recourse but arrest.
And that arrest, Barnett said, can occur anywhere – work, home, school or “out and about in the community.”
“Our goal is not to put people in jail, but that will happen if they don’t come take care of their obligations to the court,” Barnett said. “We would prefer them to come and handle their business with the court and not have to have any contact with law enforcement.”
If you have outstanding warrants you can take care of them at the following municipal buildings in your city.
Kyle Municipal Court, 100 W. Center Street, Kyle, (512) 262-3994
Buda Municipal Court, 121 Main Street, Buda, (512) 295-5981
San Marcos Municipal Court, 630 E. Hopkins, San Marcos, (512) 393-8190
Hays County Constable, Pct. 1 office, 712 S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos, (512) 393-7730.