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Flint police are trying to whittle down a backlog of misdemeanor warrants

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint police are launching a new effort this week to clear a backlog of misdemeanor warrants.

The department has more than 23,000 misdemeanor warrants on its books. Some of them date back to the 1970’s.

Flint Police Chief James Tolbert says these warrants for relatively minor offenses can lead to major problems for police.

“Because they’re wanted, they run for us. They engage in high-speed pursuits,” says Tolbert. 

Tolbert says “Operation Fresh Start” lets people resolve their outstanding warrants without being arrested. 

“In a normal way you’d have to get arrested, sit in jail, you have to go to court then there would be a trial,” says Tolbert, “So you’re taking all those elements out and handling all this in one day.”

Tomorrow, Flint police officers and other agencies taking part in “Operation Fresh Start” will meet with people with outstanding misdemeanor warrants at the University of Michigan-Flint’s Hubbard Building.  Tolbert expects it will only take a few hours to process the outstanding warrants and deal with any issues related to the offense.

Tolbert says the department will conduct similar events over the next year.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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