The Halifax Regional Police are preparing for what is likely a first for Canadian police. Tomorrow, they will be hosting a Voluntary Surrender initiative from the Dartmouth North Community Centre in Highfield, from 0830 to 430pm.
This program, which is losely based on American programs, allows people who have, or suspect they may have, non-violent outstanding warrants to report to police instead of possibly being arrested in public or at home, ideally saving a possible embarrassing arrest in front of family, friends, or the public.
When a person comes to the center, they would first report in at a front desk. Presenting ID, they will be ran against a police database. If they do in fact have an outstanding warrant, they will go into another room for a legal consult.
Afterwards, they go into another room where updated photos and fingerprints will be taken. Then they will either have another court date set, or other options will be discussed based on the nature of the warrant.
Although a person can surrender to a warrant at any time, this event is aimed at giving a person an easier setting to work in, and there are steps in place to provide privacy and security.
Warrants that may be of a more urgent nature can also be tended to on scene.
A release on the success of this event will be made public, with no names given of participants. HRP will consider a possible expansion of this event for the future.
- Sean Dewitt