Philadelphia Seeks $1.2 Million in Unpaid Fines

Officials with the Philadelphia Police Department say they hope to hear soon from people who owe delinquent fines.

Starting Wednesday, the department is offering a 4-month amnesty period.

"We've got 3,000 warrants on file right now and approximately $1.2 million that's owed to the city of Philadelphia," said Police Chief Richard Sistrunk. "If you'll bring 25%, we're going to pull that warrant on you and it won't be served. You won't go to jail. You won't have to face a possible $180 contempt charge. You don't have to face possible jail time and sit there until your fine is paid in full. We're giving these folks the opportunity to get these fines straightened out."

The person who owes the money may pay the 25%, and then will be allowed to put the rest on a monthly payment schedule until it's completely paid. The money collected will be used to assist a number of city departments.

"In the service way, it's a discredit to the citizens out there that people are doing crimes and committing crimes, and they're being able to get away (with it)," said Philadelphia Mayor James Young.

Young says it's so important to collect the cash.

"That's money owed. It's not a tax increase. That's not an added burden to the law abiding citizens," Young said.

Young says the city and the state will benefit from the money collected.

"There are fees that are obligated to the state from some of these fines," he said.

Once the 4-month amnesty period is up, Sistrunk says a warrant task force will be formed to deal with the problem.

"At that point, it will be nothing but to serve warrants and bring these people back to court where they can face a contempt charge, with up to a $180 fine, plus time in jail," Sistrunk said.

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  • by nanna Location: newtoncounty on Mar 6, 2010 at 08:36 AM
    I could not have said it better myself pawpaw, I can understand union's problems, I would love to see union put in the paper 1 comparision from 10 years ago and now. Amount of arrest made, amount of fines collected, What the police dept spends now compared to 10 years ago? what the town spends now compared to the year 2000. Everyone knows there is a lot that could be saved in Union. Union is shrinking not getting bigger, Most towns have cut out take home vechiles, froze pay scales, started limited milage on the city owned autos. even MHP is doing that. QUESTION IS WHAT CAN WE DO TO SAVE MONEY? I magine we spend more now than we have in the 50 years I have lived here.
  • by Paw Paw Location: Union on Mar 3, 2010 at 11:47 AM
    I Can Understand The Unpaid Fines,We Have About 100,000 In Un Paid Fines In Union,Because Once The Court Puts Someone On The "Pay Plan"They Get Out Of Jail And Never Come Back To Pay On The Fine,The Supreme Court Says You Can't Lock A Person Up For Their Debt But Once You Give Them An Opportunity To Make Payments And They Dont Pay You Can Lock Them Up Until They Stink Or Pay Their Debt In Full.
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