Amnesty Week Begins For Outstanding Tickets In Tulsa, Broken Arrow
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - It's an amnesty week for anyone with outstanding tickets from Broken Arrow and Tulsa. Police departments are encouraging you to come in and pay up. The municipal courts in Broken Arrow and here in Tulsa are doing a spring cleaning of sorts, hoping to clear some old tickets off the books and bring in some cash at the same time.
There wasn't a rush on the first day of amnesty at the Broken Arrow City Clerk's office. We were the only people who showed up, though they did take some calls from people wanting to come clean on old tickets.
They've got filing cabinets full of them, thousands of unpaid tickets; enough to get someone arrested if they're stopped for something else.
Corporal Leon Calhoun with the Broken Arrow Police Department, said, "It doesn't really benefit the city of Broken Arrow or the person with warrants to go to jail, so we're trying to do this without having to go to jail and it allows the city to clear off the warrants as well."
Broken Arrow is asking people to come in to the Justice Center to pay off their fines. They'll even set up a payment plan.
Broken Arrow's court has a list of $1-million in unpaid fines just from the last ten months. In Tulsa, police say they've got a list of 92,000 outstanding tickets.
Dennis Larsen, with the Tulsa Police, said, "The last thing we really want to do is to incarcerate someone over a municipal traffic ticket or a fine violation. And we had kind of gotten away from that, but we are back."
While the police fugitive squad is going out to make arrests, for people who turn themselves in, the courts are offering amnesty instead of a trip to jail.
Tulsa Municipal Court Administrator, Kelly Brader, said, "We're eliminating that step and saying please come in now to get your tickets taken care of."
The last time the City offered amnesty a line formed on the last day to pay them off, but just 68 people showed up. With so many more people unwilling to come in, police now say they're going out to look for them.
The last time they did that, actually look for people, police made 64 arrests and cleared 226 warrants, worth $100,000.
The city of Tulsa says both the amnesty period and search for people who don't come in will be ongoing now, limited to just this week.
Anyone with outstanding municipal tickets from the City of Tulsa should contact Tulsa Municipal Court at 918-596-7761 for payment instructions.
Anyone with outstanding municipal tickets from City of Broken Arrow can contact the Court Clerk's office at 918-451-8558. Their office is located at 2304 South First Place in Broken Arrow.