Is the warrants officer looking for you?
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 02:56:58 GMT —
Standing at 6 feet 3 inches and with 10 years experience under his belt, San Benito Police Officer Arthur Palos is the newest warrant officer for the department.
His mission is to collect the $6.1 million owed to the city in unpaid fines.
It's not an assignment he got stuck with, but a job he applied for and wants to do each day.
"They had the opportunity to pay their citations and they allowed it to go this far, Palos said. Now it's my job to go and pick them up so they can pay."
Pile of warrants in hand, Palos visits people's homes looking to deliver a notice that the fines are long overdue, or make an arrest on the spot. Action 4 News went with Palos as he visited several homes Wednesday.
There were no arrests while our cameras were rolling, but Palos said he TMll continue tracking those people down.
"A lot of them try to avoid the situation, hide, they move or they change their address, Palos said. But eventually, they will get caught either at their house or place of employment."
Since he started visiting homes back on January 3rd, Palos estimates the city has already collected some $20,000 in fines.
Inv. Rogelio Banda said if people see their name on the city's website for unpaid fines, they still have a chance to avoid jail time. However, if they wait until Palos shows-up at their doorstep, it might be too late.
At that point when the officer makes contact, you're pretty much under arrest because he's already got the warrant looking for you," Banda said.
"If you owe tickets, go and pay them, Palos said. Otherwise, I will be out there looking for you."