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Escambia County criminal roundup

ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  The Escambia County Sheriff, David Morgan wants to round up more wanted criminals.  Monday he announced the arrest of 61 people on outstanding warrants.  Morgan wants to do more sweeps over the next year. 

Currently, Escambia County has 23,867 people on the with outstanding arrest warrants.  Santa Rosa has 2,964 people on the wanted list and Okaloosa has 1,350.

Over the next few months, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office will be cracking down on people with outstanding arrest warrants; some of them date back to 1983.

Jim Fournier says she's always surprised when he sees just how many people have been arrested in Escambia County.

"I know I see in the paper every day, the felony arrests that were made and I am absolutely amazed how many there are everyday" said Jim Fournier, Escambia County Resident.

Morgan says when he took office in 2009 about 34,000 people in the county had outstanding arrest warrants.  Since then, he's reduced that number to fewer than 24,000.
"We just don't have the manpower and the money to go after them right.  If I was a billionaire, I'd give them a couple billion and get them, but tomorrow we'll probably be back the same way" John Hoffman, Escambia County Resident. 

Tracking wanted people down can prove challenging.  Many people move out of the area with misdemeanor crimes on their records.  Most agencies only extradite felony offenses to cut costs.  Of the thousands of people with outstanding warrants, some of them turn themselves in, others are tracked down with tips from Crime Stoppers.

"I believe we just have too much crime in Escambia County, and the reason we have too much crime is because I think a lot of people are forgetting about the Lord" said Charlie Brower, Escambia County Resident.

Approximately half of the outstanding warrants in Escambia County involve a violation of probation or failure to appear in court.