Potter County to pursue outstanding warrants aggressively

by Larry Lemmons
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Those with outstanding warrants out of Potter County are assured of contact from the Sheriff's office soon.

Potter County's projected budget shortfall is encouraging officials to look at potential revenue streams.

The Potter County Sheriff says there approximately 9,000 outstanding warrants they intend to tackle.

Sheriff Brian Thomas says, "That's our main focus. We want to let people know, hey, this is what we have on you, please come in and get it taken care of."

Potter County Judge Arthur Ware says, "If you could tally up what's in all the courts, it would make a pretty good dent in that 1.3 million dollar deficit."

Four deputies will be calling people, knocking on doors and, if necessary, arresting people who have outstanding warrants. Officials say the backlog is at least partially due to the lack of a warrants division recently.  Ware says, "You would have to talk to Sheriff Shumate about that. He disbanded that and moved them all into a special operations group."

The county says it really doesn't want to incarcerate people.  That would be expensive.  They just want people to meet their obligations.  Thomas says, "What we're trying to do is help the county out and taxpayers as well. If we can generate that money back into the county, so be it. Let's do that."

Ware emphasizes the point.  "I want money in the county to make it work to balance the budget. I don't want to go take the money from people through taxes."

The Sheriff's office says it should be ready to get the new warrants division activated by September 1st.