GLENDALE, Ariz. - After an underwhelming start to the city of Glendale's warrant wipe out program on Thursday, the city is trying to assure people the program is designed to help, not harm.
The city is offering anyone with a Glendale misdemeanor warrant to come to Glendale City Court on Thursday, Friday or Saturday to see a judge, talk with prosecutors and work out a solution to their warrant without being arrested.
"It's been slow, but we expected that," Judge Elizabeth Finn said. "We are emulating things that other courts have done of a similar nature, and they always told us that the first day is kind of slow."
Finn said by around midday Thursday, about 20 people had come in to take care of their warrants. One person even took take of a DUI-related warrant dating back to 2003.
Finn said she believes the slow start is that people might be worried the program is a sting to get people to come in and then arrest them, however Finn assures people it is not.
"If people have a misdemeanor Glendale warrant they can come in, this is not a sting, this is not fake," she said. "We will quash the warrant, if it's for failure to pay we will put you on a new contract, if it's for failure to do counseling, we'll get you reordered back into counseling."
Rochelle Jordan is one of the people who took care of her warrant on Thursday and said she didn't fear it being a sting and she's glad to have it taken care of.
"Yes I'm glad," she said. "I can come and get the warrant cleared and don't have to worry about where my baby's going to go if I have to go to jail or something."
Glendale Police Sgt. Jay O'Neill said people need to take care of their warrants now while the city is offering the wipe out program because, beginning next week, Glendale Police will be conducting a large-scale warrant sweep looking to clear a chunk of the 16,000 or so warrants on the city's books.
"We are going to have some extra resources dedicated to a warrant sweep immediately following the warrant wipe out," he said. "If you're arrested during the warrant sweep, you will get booked into jail, you will have to post bond, you will have to wait to see a judge
"So in essence, walking in here, being able to immediately see a judge and being able to walk out without being booked into the Glendale City Jail is, in essence, a get-out-of-jail-free card."
The court is allowing anyone with a Glendale misdemeanor warrant to come into the court between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday to take care of their warrants. The court will also be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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