Sheriff posts warrants on website - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Sheriff posts warrants on website

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Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office is posting on its website updated lists of people who have active warrants pending against them.

“A lot of times people don’t even know that they have a warrant out until we encounter them and lo and behold there’s a warrant for the fine they didn’t pay or something they forgot,” said Undersheriff Bob Bussey. “We just want to give people some way to check on it.”

A button for outstanding misdemeanor and felony warrants is located on the department’s home page. Juvenile arrest warrants are not listed.

But before you ambitiously plan a mullet haircut, purchase wrap-around sunglasses or contemplate reality TV stardom, sheriff’s officials emphasize the lists are not meant to inspire bounty hunting.

Only peace officers can arrest a person for a warrant, Bussey said.

“We don’t want to encourage somebody printing out the list and running around trying to find people,” said Bussey.

However, the sheriff’s office will accept tips from the public on the whereabouts of a wanted person.

There are instances where a wanted person can clear up a warrant issue by paying a fine, but those arrangements have to be made through court officials. Law officers have no choice but to arrest a subject with an active warrant if they encounter one, Bussey said.

“It sort of takes it out of our hands,” Bussey said of the law officer’s discretion to arrest when they encounter a wanted person.

Posting warrant information online is also expected to ease some of the call volume coming into Bonner Dispatch. Bussey said the dispatch center often receives calls from people wanting to know if they have a pending warrant.

Marcus Robbins, the county’s communications supervisor, roughly estimates that dispatch receives about 10 calls a week. Although the volume is not immense, the calls can come at inopportune times, such as during emergency situations.

“It has more to do with the timing of the calls than the actual call volume. Having the warrants list online will provide some relief in those respects,” said Robbins.

The lists will be updated at least daily.

Those who find themselves on the lists are encouraged to contact Bonner Dispatch at 265-5525 or go to the sheriff’s office, located at 4001 North Boyer Avenue.

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  • MaryTormey posted at 4:41 pm on Sat, Feb 19, 2011.

    MaryTormey Posts: 404

    So is that what they mean when they say come on vacation, leave on probation?

  • Helen Newton posted at 11:35 am on Thu, Feb 17, 2011.

    Helen Newton Posts: 537

    I have since checked with the county and learned that the reason there are so many warrants for misdemeanors is that many of them are for people who reside outside the state and extradition practices don't exist for misdemeanors. It is not cost effective to chase all of these people down. Hopefully some of them will be in Idaho again and any traffic stop will result in discovering that they have an outstanding warrant.

  • Idahodad posted at 9:13 pm on Wed, Feb 16, 2011.

    Idahodad Posts: 48

    How does the number of outstanding warrants compare with other Idaho countys?

  • Helen Newton posted at 12:02 pm on Tue, Feb 15, 2011.

    Helen Newton Posts: 537

    I checked out the Sheriff's site and was astonished at the number of warrants for misdemeanors! How can there be so many? Have all of these people moved out of the county or are most still here but the SO doesn't have time time or resources to serve the warrants?