By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
Throughout February, Killeen police will be out on the streets looking for people with unpaid tickets.
Police will be knocking on doors during Killeen Municipal Court's warrant roundup in an effort to collect outstanding fines.
Municipal Judge William Gibson said the goal of the program, which will be conducted on undisclosed days for an unknown amount of time in February, is not to send people to jail. Gibson said people detained by Killeen police will have the opportunity to pay their fine at the court.
"If they were stopped today, then they would be arrested and taken to Killeen City Jail," Gibson said. "We arrest people and take them down here first."
However, they will not be released until their fines are taken care of. If no payment is offered, those people will spend some time in a cell in the basement of the Killeen Police Department, where the city jail is housed.
"We don't know why people haven't gone to court," said Gibson. "They haven't responded. We just have to use this as a last resort."
Gibson said he sees an increased response when his court conducts roundups. Most people take care of tickets themselves.
During a warrant roundup conducted last year, two-thirds of fines paid were from people who came to the court voluntarily.
"If you want to avoid being arrested, then pay your fines and you won't have the embarrassment of being arrested," said Killeen police spokeswoman Carroll Smith.
The court already has prepared a list of people with outstanding warrants whose addresses are current. If those people do not take care of their fines before the roundup begins, they should expect a visit from a city marshal or Killeen officer.
Most of the warrants stem from unpaid traffic tickets, though there also are warrants for code enforcement fines and other misdemeanors, Gibson said.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553.