HOUSTON – The city of Houston’s Municipal Courts Department and Houston Police Department will be among 300 law enforcement jurisdictions across Texas that will participate in the 2014 Great Texas Warrant Round-Up.
For the third year in a row, HPD will be assisted by the Texas Attorney General’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit to search for individuals with outstanding warrants beginning March 1.
Neighboring jurisdictions joining this statewide initiative as regional participants include Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend and Waller Counties.
“This is by far the largest concerted law enforcement effort in Texas,” said Director and Presiding Judge Barbara E. Hartle. “We do this program simultaneously with other jurisdictions to bring about greater public awareness, which will hopefully encourage someone to resolve their case or cases before they are arrested.”
Once the Warrant Round-up period begins, HPD and other law enforcement agencies will aggressively target those defendants on the warrant list. Authorities warn that arrests can take place at any location, including the defendant’s home, school or workplace.
Additionally, a special task force will focus solely on locating defendants with outstanding warrants through a license plate recognition program and whose parked vehicle has been documented multiple times at specific locations.
“With the assistance of law enforcement, we fully intend to use the entire scope of our resources, and we want to make everyone aware that ignoring your court matter is not an acceptable practice,” stated Judge Hartle. “The License Plate Recognition program has been in force since September of 2011 and has been extremely helpful in allowing us to locate scofflaws.”
As the regional coordinator of this effort for the past eight years, the city of Houston Municipal Courts Department has thousands of active warrants it is seeking to clear. Municipal Courts officials are encouraging defendants to take advantage of the options available to resolve outstanding warrants.
There will be no amnesty offered during the Warrant Round-Up effort.
Notices are being mailed to all Houston Municipal Court defendants with active warrants. Citizens with warrants in jurisdictions other than the city of Houston should contact those jurisdictions for information about how to clear those warrants. A complete list of participating regional partners can be found at www.houstontx.gov/courts.
For more information about warrants or citations visit the website at www.houstontx.gov/courts or contact City’s Helpline at 311 or 713-837-0311, if outside the city of Houston.