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La Porte looks at offering 'grace period' for some outstanding warrants

The La Porte County Sheriff is making a deal with low-level criminals in order to cut down on outstanding warrants.

La Porte's sheriff is looking to tackle the backlog of outstanding warrants for the county before the New Year by offering a grace period for offenders of small crimes.

Last month, ABC 57 followed along with the first phase of Operation Warrant Reduction, which was a large-scale warrant sweep throughout the county.

Tuesday, the department explained how forgiving minor offenses could help them clean house.

"We have had a lot of people surrender themselves because we were out actively looking for them," said John T. Boyd, La Porte County Sheriff.

Sometimes with a little push people take responsibility for their actions.

“Families get tired of law enforcement knocking on their door at four in the morning that has a tendency of having the family put pressure on their friends and loved ones,” said Boyd.

In La Porte County, thousands of outstanding warrants continue to hang over this department so it's going to take a little personal responsibility from offenders to help solve this problem.

"We knew that we couldn't do it alone," said Boyd. "Give people a chance because they're not going to go away on their own."

Soon all areas of law enforcement in La Porte County will offer an incentive for offenders who turn themselves in.

"With the approval of Judge Freeman and Judge Thorn, we will offer a grace period," said John Espar, La Porte Prosecuting Attorney.

It’s a two week intermission from the normal warrant arrest process but only for small offenses such as driving on a suspended license.

"Submit to the sheriff, go through the booking process and then receive a court date and then voluntarily through their own volition enter the criminal justice system," said Espar.

The county is finalizing a start date for the grace period, right now they are aiming for the week after Christmas.

If you're unsure if you have an outstanding warrant you can always check your status online at mycase.indiana.gov.

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