LANSING. The Michigan State Police (MSP) and Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced that 1,994 felony arrest warrants were resolved as the result of a joint initiative aimed at increasing compliance with state law prohibiting felons from collecting public assistance. The efforts were conducted during January and February.
The MSP coordinated with the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) to cross-check the names of individuals collecting public assistance against a database of outstanding felony warrants in order to make sure only those who are eligible are receiving public assistance.
Of the 4,562 matches, troopers cleared 800 felony arrest warrants. Another 1,194 felony arrest warrants were either cleared by other law enforcement agencies or the wanted individual reported to authorities.
The joint initiative has its roots in a 2007 pilot program between the OIG and MSP Fugitive Team. At that time, the system had to be combed manually for a match, but the new process is fully automated, allowing the MSP and DHS to rapidly check and match benefit rolls against outstanding felony warrants.
“The initial results of the felony warrant match between the DHS and Michigan State Police are simply outstanding,” said Maura Corrigan, DHS Director. “The program allows us to protect the integrity of public assistance while at the same time helping to ensure public safety.”
The law enforcement component, which was led by the MSP, was a coordinated effort between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Additional efforts will continue to further encourage individuals to comply with state law in order to continue receiving benefits.
“The Michigan State Police encourages any individual with an outstanding warrant to report to law enforcement, and we will continue to pursue anyone who refuses to comply with the law,” said MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. “We are thankful to the Department of Human Services and our many law enforcement partners that helped resolve these outstanding felony warrants.”
Law enforcement in the metro Detroit area worked cooperatively to clear 677 of 2,810 felony arrest warrants and to check an additional 615 locations for individuals with arrest warrants.
In the Bay/Thumb region troopers cleared 214 of 698 felony arrest warrants, visiting a total of 699 locations, resulting in the recovery of two stolen hand guns, two long guns, cocaine and marijuana.
Troopers from the northern Lower Peninsula cleared 46 of 64 felony arrest warrants. A total of 98 arrests were made during the initiative due to troopers’ contact with other individuals who had outstanding warrants. In one incident, a subject was arrested for possessing methamphetamine, which led to several other subsequent arrests, the removal of two children from the home and valuable investigative information about several retailers improperly accepting Bridge Cards.
This effort is a result of Public Acts 198 and 199 of 2011, which required the state to develop an automated system to facilitate information sharing between the DHS and MSP.