Michigan State Police cracks down on fugitives with outstanding warrants

Published 9:08 am Monday, November 29, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Since beginning its Fugitive Sweep program in September, the Michigan State Police Niles Post has rounded up roughly 100 fugitives in Berrien and Cass counties.
The fugitives have been located and arrested as part of a strategy to lower the number of outstanding warrants.
The Niles Post has been locating those with traffic, bench and original warrants through the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN). LEIN is the statewide database used by law enforcement agencies to get information on vehicle license plates, warrants on individuals and driver's license status, among other things.
The first step in the fugitive sweep process is checking current warrants through LEIN and mailing a notice to fugitives who live out-of-state or outside the post's jurisdiction, informing them they have a warrant.
The most common type of warrant people aren't aware they have is a traffic warrant, he said. An example of a traffic warrant is one that is issued after when a fugitive receives a traffic violations and fails to respond.
Many offenders contact the courts and pay the their bond, eliminating the need for police intervention.
For fugitives who live withing the counties, police will check that the address is correct on the warrant. Officers also use the Secretary of State database and sometimes, interviews with neighbors to uncover the location of those with outstanding warrants.
Once located, the fugitives must pay the bond, or face being arrested until the bond is paid. Davis urged those with outstanding warrants to turn themselves in and post bond.
The program has paid special attention to sexual offender registration violators. Any person convicted as a sexual offender on or after October 1, 1995, is required to register with local authorities.
The focus on sexual offender registration violators is working, Davis said. In April of 2004, the beginning of the second quarter, police investigated 27 warrants and made 20 arrests. In October, the beginning of the fourth quarter, Michigan State Police investigated seven warrants and made four arrests of violators.