Local officials have a message for anyone with a warrant on an outstanding traffic or municipal code violation: Pay your fine before police place you under arrest.
Waco is one of more than 300 jurisdictions participating in the Great Texas Warrant Roundup that kicks off Saturday.
The roundup will target those with unpaid traffic, parking and municipal code fines, as well as those with warrants for Class C misdemeanors, officials said.
The City of Waco Municipal Court recently mailed out 10,000 notices to those who have outstanding fines as reminders that they may have warrants out for their arrest, authorities said.
It is estimated the city is owed about $10 million in unpaid tickets, said Suzy Seitzler, municipal court program administrator.
The court, which usually is open until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, will offer extended hours to give residents an opportunity to pay their fines before the roundup. The offices, located at 201 W. Waco Drive, will be open until 6 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Seitzler said.
People who go to the municipal court to pay their fines will not be arrested, according to authorities.
The city has one officer who is devoted year-round to finding and arresting those with warrants related to traffic, parking and municipal code violations, city spokesman Larry Holze said.
But on Saturday, about 20 officers working in teams will be dedicated to tracking down those with warrants, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
The roundup will continue for several days.
Swanton said officers would “much prefer” residents pay their fines so they will not be arrested. But those who do not can expect police to arrest them wherever they may find them, including homes and businesses, according to officials.
“We’re going to hit it pretty heavy,” Swanton said.
Authorities say this year’s Great Texas Warrant Roundup is thought to be the largest joint operation of its kind.
Other participating agencies include Beverly Hills, Bellmead and Lacy Lakeview.
To view a weekly updated list of active traffic and parking warrants pending in Waco, visit the city’s court site at www.waco-texas.com/court.asp.
For more information on arranging to pay a fine for a ticket, call the City of Waco Municipal Court at 750-5900.