Tulsa Police Begin Municipal Warrant Sweep

Mar 10, 2014

Tulsa Police Deputy Chief Dennis Larsen announces the department's municipal warrant sweep, which began today. Court Administrator Kelly Brader was at the announcement as well.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa Police started a municipal warrant sweep today that will go on all week.

A task force of up to 15 officers will find citizens with outstanding warrants and arrest them at home or work if necessary. Deputy Chief Dennis Larsen said he doesn’t want to put someone in jail over a traffic ticket, but something needs to be done.

"The ordinances have to have teeth to be effective," Larsen said. "If people believe they can speed and there's no consequences, if people believe they can run a red light and there's no consequences, be involved in a traffic accident, drive under the influence — there has to be consequences for those actions."

The sweep targets all municipal misdemeanor warrants, from DUIs to failures to appear. Tulsa currently has more than 92,000 outstanding warrants, and Larsen said these sweeps may start happening more regularly.

"In my 30-some years of being a police officer, we've had municipal warrant sweeps almost — if not yearly, a lot of times quarterly," Larsen said. "We'd kind of gotten away from doing that, but we're back."

A sweep just before Christmas resulted in 64 arrests and more than 200 warrants cleared.

The city is allowing anyone with outstanding warrants to work out a payment plan with a judge. People worried they may have a warrant should contact the court clerk’s office.