Pam Little of Iron Mountain has worked in the bail bonds business for more than 15 years.
A bail bonds agent pledges money or property to guarantee the court appearance of someone accused of a crime who isn’t being held in jail.
Pam says about 99% of defendants make their court dates, and if they make their court dates, she never hears from them or the people who sign for their bond again.
She’ll try to talk bond jumpers into surrendering voluntarily, but she and other agents have the authority to bring them in.
Pam’s son, Jay Walrack, co–owns Great Lakes Bail Bonds with her.
He remembers one of the first bounty hunts his mother ever went on, in Menominee.
Jay says during that hunt in Menominee, his mother was shoved off of a porch and accidentally maced herself in the eye with sheriff’s deputies watching.
Pam and Jay don’t carry guns because they don’t want to risk a bond jumper attacking them and potentially turning the weapon on them.
Before entering the bail bonds business, Pam worked in the fashion world.
She did modeling in Chicago and in Florida, but her late father worked for Great Lakes Bail Bonds after a long career with the Michigan State Police.
After leaving modeling and returning to the U.P., Pam was eventually asked by her father if she wanted to work with him, and she says she only needed one day of work to decide that the bail bonds business was for her.
Pam and Jay bought Great Lakes Bail Bonds in 2010, and Pam even still uses her father’s old handcuffs.
Bail bonds firms provide a service to police agencies that they often can’t perform for themselves.
Dickinson County Sheriff Scott Celello says with the restrictions on staffing and money that law enforcement agencies have, the leeway that bail bonds agencies have to pursue defendants is extremely helpful.
One aspect of the reality shows is true to form for Pam.
She says working in bail bonds is never dull, and she learns something new every day.