Fayetteville's Police Department has launched a major campaign targeted towards people with arrest warrants. The effort is motivating people to turn themselves for non-violent offenses. Those who turn themselves between Wednesday and Friday are being guaranteed a court date or an unsecured bond. That's a bond that residents don't have to pay as long as they show up to court.
The department's media representative, Officer Jeremy Strickland, says this is a big deal.
"It can be difficult for somebody to get a written promise to appear.''
Strickland said this initiative is unlike anything the police department has ever done to enhance its community relations. He went on to say this effort is fueled by the department's objective to be more transparent with Fayetteville residents.
"The biggest reason that we want to do this, too, is to try to limit law enforcement interaction, you know, with these folks that do have warrants," Strickland said. "Because if we have to intervene, you know, you have to go to jail. I mean, if but if you turn yourself in, there's very limited law enforcement interaction there."
The initiative is targeted towards people with non-violent charges like larcenies, drug possession, or breaking and entering. The police department says there are a number of ways citizens can turn themselves in. They can go to a police station, approach an officer, or they can report to the Cumberland County Detention Center on Gillespie Street.
Strickland explains it is up to the magistrates to decide if the promotion can be applied on a case-by-case basis. Plus, the department publicized a list of about 900 people with active warrants who should turn themselves in. He advises residents who know a wanted person that refuses to turn themselves in to make an anonymous tip to Crimestoppers. Tips that lead to an arrest or charges can possibly result in cash rewards. Tipsters can call 910-483-TIPS or visit p3tips.com.