(Greene County, Mo.--02/05/18) Thousands of arrests have yet to be made in Greene County. We've learned the sheriff's department has a massive backlog of warrants and getting them served may be tougher than you might think.
Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott wrestles daily with an all too common demand of doing more with fewer resources. Arnott says there was a backlog more than 15,000 unserved criminal arrest warrants at the sheriff’s office.
"It is concerning that we have that high of a number. I’d like to have it down to where we have a couple thousand would be great but we’ve got to have a place to hold them and we’ve got to have the ability to go out and find them."
Authorities say the overload stems from an increase in failure-to-appear warrants, misdemeanor offenses, and violations of parole, and probation.
"We’re trying to focus on our most sever felonies and trying to get them picked up and sex offender related sex offenses and sex offenders that violate are a top priority."
It’s a cycle that never ends and it’s getting harder and harder to deal with the rising number of new warrants entered.
"The prosecutor is probably 100-300 behind in reviewing our cases. So there’s not only a backlog here at where we house the warrants but there’s a backlog at the prosecutor’s office with the keeping up with the amount of crime and the cases that are submitted."
Arnott says the current jail’s overcrowding has become well known over the years, but says the temporary jail has helped chip away the backlog warrants.
"It’s a lot of pressure combined with to keep the jail and hope that our numbers stay where we can manage them. We will keep enforcing the law, keep making arrest, and go after the bad guy, and we will find a place to house them if we get a whole bunch in."
The sheriff's office is making a concerted effort by implementing plans to focus a group of detectives to go after those who choose to skip their court dates.
"Periodically we will go through and start searching the database on our warrants and try to find people of various types of crimes so we do a fugitive task force every so often then we will go out and also make calls to tell people to take care of their warrant if it’s a misdemeanor."
Click Here to be directed to the Greene County Active Warrants page.