‘Pay up or lockup,’ police say

March 4 deadline on traffic fines; $1 million outstanding

If you drove through Rockdale during the past 11 years, got a traffic ticket and blew it off, better reconsider.

You might get to see Rockdale and Milam County again, this time from a courtroom or even a jail cell.

Rockdale police are joining a statewide effort to crack down on unpaid traffic warrants by March 5, a day when the fifth annual Great Texas Warrant Roundup will kick off.

There’s good reason. One million dollars in fines is owed the City of Rockdale, dating back to 2000.

‘PASSING THROUGH’—Police Chief Thomas Harris said the majority of the 4,500 outstanding violations pending in municipal court are from drivers who were passing through Rockdale.

“They probably thought they were never going to be in Rockdale again,” Harris said.

The city has mailed out 1,600 letters to violators.

“Local warrants you can serve,” Harris said. “It’s people from places like Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and others that you can’t locate.”

On March 5, 250 law enforcement agencies from across Texas, including those in Milam County, will fan out across the state in a coordinated effort to arrest those named in pending cases filed by any law enforcement agency.

There’s a way out. They can still pay their fine through March 4.

But those who don’t may find themselves being arrested at home, at work or wherever officers find them.

While most of the outstanding warrants are for traffic offenses, penal code and higher charge warrants will also be involved.

WARR ANTS—Representatives of the Rockdale and Cameron police departments, Milam constables and the Milam County Sheriff’s Department gathered at the Little River bridge Friday to announce the crackdown. (See page 3A.)

There are currently 6,500 traffic violations pending in Milam County courts.

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2011-02-24 digital edition

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