By Victor O'Brien
Killeen Daily Herald
The city of Belton has a simple offer for warrant violators: Turn yourself in and pay up before they arrest you.
Belton police are running an amnesty program in preparation for a warrant roundup. The city has more than 10,000 outstanding warrants.
The program affords people with Belton warrants time to pay off their outstanding warrants and have the $50 warrant fee waived. A waived fee could save hundreds of dollars for many defendants with multiple warrants, Chief Gene Ellis said.
People must make arrangements or risk being arrested in a warrant roundup to happen on a yet-to-be decided date. The amnesty program will run until the roundup starts. Ellis expects the program to run through July and possibly part of August.
"Our goal is to get people to take care of outstanding traffic warrants and fines. It's not to put people in jail," Ellis said.
The amnesty program will work with people to develop payment plans.
Most of the warrants stem from Class C misdemeanors, speeding or seat belt violations and minor assaults. Defendants skip their court date, receive an arrest warrant and make matters worse.
"We hope the amnesty period works and creates less need for the roundup," Ellis said.
Defendants can check their status by visiting the Municipal Court office at 711 E. Second Ave., Belton's Web site at www.ci.belton.tx.us or by calling (254) 933-5838 between 8 a.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Contact Victor O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7468.