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Brookhaven police offer amnesty in March — Outstanding warrants for misdemeanor charges get a break

If you owe the city of Brookhaven for misdemeanor fines, it’s time to pay up or be locked up.

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins, with the approval of the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen, is partnering with the Brookhaven Municipal Court to offer Warrant Amnesty Days.

Collins said anyone who has an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor charge — not a felony — will have amnesty from arrest during the last two weeks of March so they can pay their fine or make arrangements with the court.

At the beginning of April, officers will start making arrests.

“We will dedicate specific officers on selected days and times to serve the warrant on the affected party in order to resolve the charges and assess the proper fines and fees,” Collins said.

Some of the outstanding warrants go back 10 years and are for charges like disturbing the peace, malicious mischief and public drunk as well as traffic violations. He said in some cases, the individuals made arrangements with the court but never followed through. Now there could be a warrant out for their arrest.

“They know they’ve got warrants. They see us. They know they’re wanted,” he said.

Collins asks anyone who thinks they have a warrant against them to come by the Brookhaven Police Department or the Brookhaven Municipal Court and make payment arrangements. Although the last two weeks of March is the amnesty period, he said individuals can come in now without risk of arrest and make those arrangements as well.

“If they come in and make an arrangement to pay their money, that’s all we want,” he said. “We don’t want them arrested, especially if they’ve got a job.”

Collins said officers will start making arrests after the amnesty period is up.

“After the two weeks are up, we’re going to bring in a whole lot of manpower in town and start actively seeking them out and locking them up,” he said. “I just don’t want to go to somebody’s job who’s made mistakes and they’ve got a family and they’re doing better, or catch them with their family and lock them up. We don’t want you locked up. We want to give you a chance.”