Southaven brings back Operation Safe Surrender amnesty program - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Southaven brings back Operation Safe Surrender amnesty program

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (FOX13) -

For the fourth time, the Southaven Police Department's fugitive division will hold its two-day warrant amnesty program Tuesday and Thursday.

Started in 2012, the program called "Operation Safe Surrender" helps the department clear old misdemeanor warrants.

Southaven Police's Fugitive Division sent out 2,000 letters to those with active misdemeanor warrants, telling them they would give them a break and not arrest them if they came to court called Operation Safe Surrender.

"Well, several years ago my warrant and fugitive guys came to me and they came up with a plan to get people to satisfy our misdemeanor warrants," said Southaven Police Lt. Mark Little. "Most of those we deal with are bench warrants. Those are warrants that are issued for contempt of court or violation of probation."

Contempt of court violators will pay a minimum of $350 of their fine. Violations of probation pay a minimum of $100.

"Whereas if you do come in and pay part of the fine they dismiss the warrant," Lt. Little said. "They will work out the payment arrangements to pay the remainder of it. This is the fourth time we have done this and it's very successful."

In the past during Operation Safe Surrender, Southaven Police has cleared out several hundred warrants and the city has seen $20,000 - $40,000 in fines paid off.

"We started doing this and people are coming from out of state, not just Tennessee, but I am talking four-five-hour trips to come to get that warrant taken care of, because it was effecting them getting employment," Lt. Little said.

Since announcing it, word has spread across the region about Operation Safe Surrender.

"That, 'Hey if you go and do this they will keep their side of the bargain and not arrest you,' and getting the warrant out is huge for people that are looking for employment or who don't want to be looking over their shoulder when stopped," Lt. Little said.

As well if you have a violation of probation warrant you will have to pay a $1,000 payment and the judge will dismiss it. You'll work out a payment schedule for the rest of what you owe and meet with a probation officer.

If you think you're eligible and want to surrender just show up at the Southaven Municipal Court Department on Northwest Drive. Operation Safe Surrender

Operation Safe Surrender runs through 7 p.m. Tuesday and continues Wednesday and Thursday from 12-7 p.m.

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