SOUTHAVEN, MS (abc24.com) - It's their version of a get out of jail free card. Southaven police are starting a new program this month, going after thousands of outstanding warrants.
Instead of arresting criminals, cops are giving them a chance to pay up and clear their names.
"A lot of people know they have that warrant because they didn't pay or they didn't show up and they're always looking over their shoulder," says Lt. Mark Little.
Southaven police are asking people to come forward without fear of arrest through a program called Operation Safe Surrender.
"Come in and pay 50% of their fine. The judge will then dismiss the warrant and they can make arrangements to pay the remaining amount," Little tells abc24.com.
They're sending letters to everyone with contempt of court and probation violation warrants offering criminals a chance to appear risk free this August.
"August 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th. Some jurisdictions trick people into coming in, but we got to thinking that would only work one time," Little says, adding the warrants number in the thousands.
"They're in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and other states. We've been working on it for months now."
A massive undertaking, but worth the money the city stands to collect and peace of mind it can bring to those who owe it.
"By dismissing the warrant what you're going to avoid is being stopped on the street and finding out we have a warrant for you. You'll get arrested. Your car will get towed. It could be in front of family and friends. You could be arrested at your work site. This way you don't have to be looking over you shoulder," Little says.
All warrants are for traffic and criminal misdemeanors. Police are also going to update warrants weekly on their website at southaven.org