One Reporter's Take on the Warrant Apprehension Unit

Sheriff’s Dept. multiple services on display during mock drill
By Lauren DeFilippo of the Bridgewater Independent
Wed June 18, 2008

Created in 1997, the unit works closely with the probation department and helps local police departments chip away at their backlog of outstanding warrants.

“The amount of warrants is staggering,” Lt. John Buckley said.

In January, the unit doubled in size and now has five officers assigned to it, he said. Since that time, through the end of April, the unit has made 27 arrests.

The unit works not only with local law enforcement, but also state and federal agencies.

“Everyone one of us is deputized as special United States Marshals,” Buckley said.

Sgt. Arthur Short said it takes less than an hour to get the first batch of information together, and that the unit makes sure all homework and paperwork are done before going out into the field. The deputies try to get as much information about the people they’re looking for as possible — everything from criminal histories to last known addresses and billing information.

Buckley said the unit goes about the job with as little fanfare as possible. There is a focus on discretion, he said, which is a benefit to both officers and the community.

“Officer safety is paramount,” said Buckley.

“We try to get them to open the door before they know who we are,” Short said.

The unit is also responsible for conducting the background checks on recruits to the Sheriff’s Academy and employees.