Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
City Council members approved a participation agreement with AllPaid, Inc for their services in streamlining the warrant payment process after pulling it from the consent agenda for discussion at the Gardner City Council’s June 15 meeting.
The service’s goal is to shorten traffic stops and warrant attempts by letting people pay the bond through credit card when they are pulled over instead of going through the booking process at the Gardner Police station.
A normal booking process at the county jail takes about two hours. The defendant can post bail through cash or bond with a court date or appear virtually before a judge requesting a personal recognizance bond.
Randy Gregoryck, council member, asked James Belcher, police chief, if all the men and women in the department were comfortable with this new process and if they were at extra risk.
“We are already in the field collecting warrants and bond money,” Belcher said. “There is no additional risk.”
Tory Roberts, council member, said she had received emails from concerned people.
“People taken into custody are thinking it was a shakedown,” she said.
Belcher said it is up to a person’s discretion. “This gives people another option to pay instead of cash or a bondsman,” he said.
Roberts said given the current climate of recent events people might construe the situation. “People might be uncomfortable,” she said.
Belcher said posting bond guarantees a court date.
“Amy and I spoke about this today,” he said. “Someone on their way to work doesn’t know they have a warrant and doesn’t have cash.”
Amy Foster, business services manager, said the option allows people to get back on their way to where they are going at the time.
“Judge (Robin) Lewis is on board,” she said. “It promises people going to court, and the city receives the funds.”
Foster said defendants are refunded all but five percent back after they show up in court.
Belcher said other Johnson County cities Mission and Leawood use the service.
“It is smoother and faster for everyone,” Mark Baldwin, city council member, said.