Backed-Up Warrants

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Years of warrants have piled up in the Bay County Sheriff's Office and now they're cleaning house. It's a program called “Catch Me if you Can” and in four days deputies have issued more than 200 warrants.

Of those more than 200 served, deputies arrested about 150 people for their outstanding warrants. The problem is there are about 37,000 outstanding warrants in Bay County.

Sheriff McKeithen says the problem is many of the warrants are issued for people who do not show up for a court date after they were arrested for something during spring break. He says many of those people just leave when spring break is over.

The sheriff's deputies are the only agency in Bay County that can serve a warrant so the backlog comes from more than just Sheriff's Office cases. In the last four days deputies have tried to make some headway into the giant stacks of outstanding warrants.

Despite jail overcrowding, Sheriff McKeithen says this is as good a time as any to take on the enormous task. He says they can't stop arresting criminals because the jail is full.

Just to give you an idea of how bad the backlog is, Sheriff McKeithen says they found a warrant with a handwritten note from Dock Daffin. Daffin's last year as Bay County Sheriff was 1968!

Sheriff's deputies will continue the “Catch Me if you Can” program after spring break season.