Polk Co. warrant sweep rounds up 10 deadbeat dads, mom

(Source: Polk County Jail)
(Source: Polk County Jail)

LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - Working together with the Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division, deputies and officers from various Polk County law enforcement agencies rounded up 11 parents who violated court orders requiring them to pay child support Tuesday.

"Parents have a moral and legal obligation to make regular child support payments," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a press release. "By collecting child support, we are ensuring young Texans have the resources they need to grow healthy and strong. We are grateful to Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack, Livingston Police Chief Dennis Compton, Onalaska Police Chief Ron Gilbert and Alabama-Coushatta Police Chief Antonio L. Ford for their unfailing commitment to Texas children."

The county-wide warrant sweep was a joint effort by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the Livingston Police Department, the Onalaska Police Department, and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Police Department. Investigators with the Child Support Division provided logistical assistance to locate missing parents.

Tuesday's warrant sweep targeted parents who were wanted for contempt of court because of their failure to pay child support. After a 4 a.m. briefing, Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack sent out five teams of law enforcement officers to locate and arrest non-compliant parents before they had a chance to leave their homes for the day.

According to the press release, delinquent parents arrested on civil warrants face up to six months in jail. Cash bonds posted by delinquent parents seeking release from jail are paid to the custodial parents and children who are owed back child support.

"To avoid the embarrassment of arrest at home or work, parents with child support warrants should contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office," the press release stated.  "Parents who have fallen behind on their child support payments – but are not subject to warrants for their arrest – should immediately contact the Attorney General's Child Support Division at (800) 252-8014 to make payment arrangements."

For the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2012, the Texas Attorney General's Office has collected more than $3.4 billion in child support. The child support office that covers Polk County and the five surrounding counties collected $47 million of that amount.

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