By TERRY GROOVER
More than $60,000 has been recovered and more than 60 people have been arrested on outstanding warrants as a result of the city of Yukon’s decision to hire two city marshals.
Police Chief John Corn said the two marshals, Jerry Flowers and Ray Kimbrough, have recovered $61,183 in less than 30 days of service.
The money is owed to the city through court fines and fees.
Earlier this year, officials discovered that more than $1.3 million was owed in fines as a result of court agreements that had not been paid.
Typically, Corn said, when someone is issued a citation and enters a plea, the municipal judge will order fines and fees. The defendant has 10 days to pay the fines or to seek a payment arrangement.
However, when those fines are not paid, several things happen, including the possible suspension of their driver’s license, a warrant can be issued and the matter is turned over to a collection agency, which adds its own penalties.
The collection agency also receives a cut of the funds that it recovers.
Since the marshal program began on Aug. 5, more than 60 municipal warrants have been served. They are either the result of someone not paying their fines or failing to appear in court.
Corn said the marshals, who have police powers but are not assigned police duties, are going through a warrant list. They do not pick and choose.
“I am pleasantly surprised both at the number they have served and the fact that it has taken that many warrants off the books,” Corn said.
While the amount of money that is outstanding is significant and is growing each day, Corn said the program has never been about the city’s finances.
“Yes, it is money owed to the city, but it’s about having the folks not believe that if you were arrested or received a citation in Yukon, that it would go unwarranted,” he said.
The issue of license suspension or collection agencies were not a concern for many people.
“That didn’t seem to be a relevant concern,” he said.
Before the marshals begin serving the warrants, Corn said, they must do significant research to ensure they are arresting the correct person.
That means confirming addresses, work histories and names.
“They really are logging a lot of investigative time,” Corn said. “A lot of the information we receive is bogus or false or has changed. People relocate and, naturally, we don’t receive forwarding information. They have to track a lot of these folks down.”
That doesn’t matter to Flowers and Kimbrough.
“We have a couple of guys who are highly motivated and energetic about doing it. They truly love doing what they do,” Corn said.