PHOENIX -- Men and women believed to owe back child support were rounded up Saturday throughout Maricopa County.
“We do this every year, we usually pick Mother's day, Father's day, Valentine's day, but we wanted to do something different,” said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
With a list in hand, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies rolled out hitting last known addresses for 600 dads and moms who don't want to financially support their kids.
“Not only to put these people in jail, but to also send a message to everybody else that they should be paying their child support,” said Sheriff Arpaio.
While the deputies 3TV spent time with didn't come across any of the deadbeat parents on their list, plenty were found and arrested throughout Maricopa County.
For those still dodging responsibility, Sheriff Arpaio offered up this recommendation.
“Be man enough or woman enough to turn yourself in and work something out to pay the child support,” said Sheriff Arpaio.
Saturday's operation resulted in 49 arrests being made, 59 warrrants being cleared from the system and more than $250,000 being purged from the system, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
In 2011, the Sheriff’s Office served nearly 189 Child support warrants facilitating the return of over $1.2 million in back money owed to families. And so far this year the Sheriff’s Office has served 92 Child support warrants with a return of $614,200 in back child support payments to families.
This program started in 2002, and according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, more than 1,700 deadbeat parents have been arrested, returning more than $14 million to county families.