The dangers of serving warrants in the Upstate - FOX Carolina 21

The dangers of serving warrants in the Upstate

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GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) -

It's a law enforcement duty that must get done.  But serving warrants requires a lot of research, patience, and can be dangerous.
    
Warrants are usually divided into two categories.  Bench warrants, which are issued for those who fail to show up to court or don't pay a fine or child support, and arrest warrants, which involve paperwork started by law enforcement that must be done before a suspect can be charged with a crime.

Sometimes, to find those people, there's a lot of door knocking involved, and building relationships with the community for tips.  And sometimes, these  tasks are done solo.  

Sergeant Jimmy Boggs with the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office said he sees anywhere from 35 to 45 warrants a week come across his desk.  

He told us there can be danger at times.  "I do have a high confidence of serving a warrant by myself. I feel like I know when I need to back out of a situation.  But that's usually not a situation that you get hurt in.  It's usually the one that seemed innocent and didn't seem like anything from the start.  That's the one that went bad. "

Sergeant Ken Brock is with the Fugitive Investigation Unit in Anderson County.  It's part of the newly redesigned Warrants Division, a change made under the new sheriff, Chad McBride.

It's now set up to go after the most wanted criminals in the county.  The other, less serious warrants, are served by patrol officers 

"Sheriff McBride has implemented a Major Case Unit and the Criminal Investigative Division.  He put in place a Fugitive Investigative Unit that I work on, where we have time to investigate the ten most wanted kind of suspects," said Sgt. Brock.

Sgt. Brock knows his job comes with lots of challenges.  But his team always finds the push they need.

"Being able to apprehend some of the worst criminals is the payoff for us.  The investigation and chase is enough to keep you going and motivated."

Sgt. Boggs said, he tries to remember exactly who he is working for.

"We're just out here trying to serve our community. And in doing that we are taking offenders off the roads and out of the streets. These are people who are more likely to break into your home, they're more likely to assault your family or damage your property and have less respect for what you have."

The last time an officer in the Upstate was killed in the line of duty while trying to serve a warrant was in 1996.  Greenville Police Officer James Sorrow was killed while serving a felony arrest warrant on a 20-year-old suspect.  Officer Sorrow was shot several times while chasing the suspect down.  That person was later sentenced to life in prison.
    
This is a look at how some Upstate law enforcement departments handle warrants in their respective counties.

Greenville County
Warrants Division: 36 
1,500 warrants served a month

Spartanburg County
Warrants Division: 33 
Current warrants: 7,700
700-1,000 warrants served a month
 
Anderson County
Fugitive Investigation Unit: 5
Current warrants: 6,800-7,000
99 warrants served, Jan. 2017

Greenwood County
Warrants Division: 2
Current warrants: 1,800
150 warrants served, Jan. 2017

Pickens County
Warrants Division: 2
249 warrants served a month 

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