SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Getting people to pay their unpaid fines in some cases is as easy as sending them an invitation.
For two days next week, Southaven will be letting people with certain warrants come in and pay them. But as FOX13 discovered, it is an invitation only event.
We found out the method is simple. Once a year, Southaven sends people with violation of probation warrants and failure to appear warrants a letter offering a chance to come in and set things straight.
We met Jacqueline Powell outside the city court waiting to pay a traffic ticket. "I think it's great giving them a second chance," Powell said
Police told us the city simply asks that those who get the letters come in and work it out with the court. All those contacted have misdemeanor charges.
"We call it safe surrender, because we have not arrested one person in the four years that we have been doing it," said Lt. Mark Little.
1,200 Operation Safe Surrender letters are sent out. About 80 people on average show up.
Fines are about $300 each. Multiply that times 80, and the city takes in about $24,000 on the cases.
"Well, we always think it successful you know anytime we get some people to come in and get their warrant dismissed and make plans with her fines and get everything behind them so they can get jobs and don't have to worry about getting pull over," Lt. Little said.
As for Jacqueline Powell, she told FOX13 she was stunned that the city has taken in almost $100,000 with the program over four years. "Hopefully, it will help the city do things they need to do, like street repairs," Powell said
Operation Safe Surrender runs this Monday from 2:30 to 7:00 in the afternoon and on Friday the 10 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Southaven Municipal Court.
© 2020 Cox Media Group