New unit will serve warrants |

New unit will serve warrants

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

The new warrant service unit at the Summit County Sheriff’s Office will focus on nabbing people in the area who are wanted by law enforcement.

"They run the gamut, everything from traffic to major offenses," Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said in a telephone interview.

There are many warrants because the Sheriff’s Office is one of the most proactive law enforcement agencies in the state, Edmunds claimed.

"There is a direct correlation between the proactive nature of this office and the amount of warrants that we have," Edmunds said. "The court sends them to warrants when they miss a court date or they don’t pay restitution that the court orders. There are a variety of reasons that they go to warrant."

There are currently about 2,000 active criminal warrants in Summit County, Edmunds said, adding that the warrant service unit began as a 90-day pilot program "to diligently attempt service on each outstanding warrant."

The majority of active warrants are for misdemeanor crimes, Edmunds said.

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"They’ve already started to arrest a tremendous number of them," Edmunds said. "Just since we started doing this we’ve cleared probably 30 to 40 warrants."

The program started last week, he said.

"I think it’s going to really help us out," Edmunds said.

Fines paid by captured criminals could help the beleaguered budget in Summit County, Edmunds said.

"When we clear these warrants up and people pay these warrants to the court, it will be a positive impact to the budget," he said. "And in a difficult budget year like we’re having, that can’t do anything but help."

Summit County will not pay more for redeploying deputies to serve warrants, he said.

"Those are deputies I already have. I just reassigned them from various other assignments," Edmunds said. "It’s just a redeployment of personnel, so there is no additional cost to the county whatsoever."

And criminal recidivism will decrease as "offender accountability increases," the sheriff said.

The unit may also serve warrants from jurisdictions outside Summit County, Edmunds said.