Burton police, 67th District Court tackle warrant backlog

Burton Police Officer Kevin Kissel geared up for a long night of fishing Thursday. He was assigned on a warrant sweep to tackle a lengthy list of at-large offenders.

â??Itâ??s hit and miss,â?? he said of the operation.

Kisselâ??s first three stops were a miss. Burton Police Chief Thomas Osterholzer said a lot of the warrants are for misdemeanors and bench warrants for people who avoid court.

â??There's an outstanding backlog of warrants in this county,â?? he said.

67th District Courtâ??s Judge Mark Latchana said, paired with limited resources, that number keeps growing.

â??We just don't have that personnel up there. Police departments are operating on very, very tight budgets and overtime just isn't there."

Judge Latchana held night court Thursday to arraign anyone officers arrested during the sweep.

â??Officers get a chance to go out and look for some of the repeat offenders that they're tired of dealing with, and actually put them in jail where they belong,â?? Osterholzer said.

Officer Kissel got a hit on his fourth stop. He arrested a man for driving with a suspended license. Minutes later, Judge Latchana arraigned and sentenced him. Kissel headed back into the field for his next arrest.