Multnomah County could lose Warrant Strike Team

Warrant strike team on chopping block

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office may soon lose its Warrant Strike Team.

The team formed 10 years ago in 2007 to go after thousands of people who had arrest warrants but were evading police.

“Their priority was focused on felony warrants,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Chad Gaidos. “Offenders who have done significant crimes within the community and people that we need to get in to custody to go through the adjudication process."

Arrest warrants are issued when someone doesn't follow the rules while they're on parole or probation, when they've been indicted for a crime but are not already locked up, or if they are sex offenders who do not register with police.

The detectives on the team are specialists, focused only on hunting down people who do not want to be caught.

“The warrant strike team has been a very effective unit for the sheriff's office in terms of eliminating outstanding warrants,” said Lt. Gaidos. “Since their inception in 2007 they've made over 13-thousand warrant services.”

But the team is now on the budget chopping block. It costs more than $700,000 to run the program during fiscal year 2016.

The cut is not certain. But if it happens, the sheriff's spokesman says people will feel the impact.

“I think that they will. I think people will notice the difference in that those are criminals who are on the street, who have a propensity for committing crimes. Not being held accountable for those crimes leaves them open to commit them again,” said Lt. Gaidos.

The county’s final budget will be adopted May 25.
 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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