As they prepared for a raid on a recent hot night, six Tennessee bounty hunters suited up in bullet-resistant vests, ski masks and steel-toed boots, then grabbed their shotguns, reports The Tennessean. Searching for people who don’t want to be found, bounty hunters find themselves in neighborhoods that are foreign to them but well-known to the bad guys. Bounty hunters work for bail bond companies that put up the money for an individual’s release as a promise that the person will show up for court. If the person fails to show, the person can be picked up by the company’s bounty hunters and returned to jail.
Bounty hunters came under scrutiny in May after an arrest involving a bounty hunter turned violent and resulted in a shootout that drew in Tennessee State University campus police officers. Two people were struck by the gunfire. Each bail bonding agent and bounty hunter is required to attend an eight-hour class annually to receive a license or renewal. Some say the annual class isn’t enough. One bounty hunter said: “I think it’s a waste. They aren’t teaching us nothing. They need to upgrade the classes. With the right instructors you can learn a lot in eight hours.”