After Police Shootings, Florida Pays Heed to Vast Warrant Backlog


Broward County, Fla., has 219,000 active arrest warrants, and Palm Beach County has 58,000, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Statewide, more than 100,000 warrants are outstanding for felony offenses, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. That includes more than 6,400 warrants for people wanted for assault, 2,300 sought for sex crimes and 785 for homicide.

The majority of the warrants in South Florida are for relatively minor crimes — misdemeanors and traffic offenses, including driving with a suspended license — as well as failure to appear in court and violation of probation. But hundreds of others are issued for fugitives sought in robberies, kidnappings and other acts of violence. Recent news headlines have been a reminder that serving warrants is dangerous and unpredictable work. Ten days ago, two Miami-Dade detectives were shot to death while attempting to arrest a career criminal on a murder warrant. Just before their memorial service began Monday, two St. Petersburg officers were killed serving a warrant on a sex offender.

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