Have an outstanding warrant? Take care of it this week or be arrested

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- If you have an outstanding misdemeanor warrant in the city of Phoenix, now is your chance to take care of it.

The Phoenix Police Department has teamed up with Phoenix Municipal Court for a program they're calling New Opportunity Warrant Clear Up or Project NOWcU.

Phoenix police call this a unique opportunity to "Clear your warrant. Clear your conscience. Clear your mind."

Police say those who have warrants but opt not to take part in the weeklong NOWcU event run the risk of being arrested at their homes or workplaces in the weeks to come. Officers will be conducting a city-wide warrant roundup as soon as the NOWcU programs wraps up. People who have outstanding warrants at that time will be arrested and booked into jail.

"Generally what happens with a warrant is we show up at the most inconvenient time," explained Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department. "You go to jail."

Thompson estimated there are about 110,000 warrants for misdemeanor crimes in the system.

Turning yourself in during Project NOWcU does not mean the charges against you will be dropped. It does, however, greatly lessen your chance of being arrested and spending time in jail.

"Instead of having to look over your should all the time to wonder if the cop car you see if going to pull in behind you and stop you, it gives you a chance to clear that warrant and start over again," Thompson said. "The option is you come in this week, get it taken care of on your schedule rather than letting us come at that inconvenient time to arrest you and take you to jail."

Project NOWcU runs Monday-Friday, Dec. 5-9, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said approximately 1,500 people cleared up about 1,500 warrants. He said police will have final numbers on Monday.

Those wishing to clear up any outstanding misdemeanor warrants should go to the Valdemar A. Cordova Building at Phoenix Municipal Court, 300 W. Washington Street, Phoenix. Be sure to bring a valid driver license or government-issued ID card and a form of payment. Extra courtrooms will be open and additional staff will be available to help you take care of business.

"People with warrants often pose officer safety risks, cause high booking costs for the Police Department, decrease the likelihood of adjudicating a case the longer they hide, and victims of crimes do not receive justice and closure until their case is resolved," according to the Phoenix Police Departments website.

Police say there is no time limit on warrants and they don't simply go away on their own. Some of the warrants officers will begin serving starting on Dec. 12 if they're not cleared during Project NOWcU were issued in 1989, more than 20 years ago.

To find out if you have an outstanding warrant, use the Case Search tool on AZCourts.gov.

If you have questions about Project NOWcU, visit Phoenix.gov/police, email warrantprogram.ppd@phoenix.gov or call 602-262-6421.