OLATHE, Kan. — Olathe is one of the cities in Johnson County hosting an amnesty day on Saturday. Those who have outstanding city warrants can come in to take care of the legal issues without fear of being arrested.
“They’ll give you a new court date or you can work with the prosecutor and the judge and get the whole case taken care of,” said Sgt. Logan Bonney, a spokesperson for the Olathe Police Department.
It’s one way to cut a break to those who have broken the law over minor offenses like traffic violations.
“A lot of times they simply forgot or couldn't afford it at the time and this gives them a great opportunity to go and get it taken care of on their own terms,” Bonney said.
Last year, 56 people went to Olathe Municipal Court at 1200 S. Harrison Street to resolve 94 cases.
This time around the Olathe police chose to use a bilingual approach in promoting the event.
El sábado 11 de agosto de 8:00 a.m. a 2:00 p.m., cualquier persona que tenga una orden de arresto fuera del Tribunal Municipal de Olathe (1200 S. Harrison St) puede entrar y obtener su orden de arresto sin hacer preguntas. pic.twitter.com/5CFSCYkp3W
— Olathe Police (@OlathePolice) August 10, 2018
“We’ve done a lot with our Hispanic community in the last year. Really reaching out to them getting to know them and getting them to be more comfortable with us. So we decided to do a couple of social media posts in Spanish for them so that they are aware of it,” Bonney said.
But immigration advocates like attorney Catalina Velarde are wary.
“Although events like this Amnesty Day may be good for most of the population, because it’s such a bigger risk for the undocumented population, the safest thing to do is work through an attorney to help resolve those warrants,” Velarde told 41 Action News.
She said there are concerns of a possible presence by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. However, Olathe police said that is not the case.
“We are not engaged in an effort with ICE in this event,” Bonney said.
People who want to take care of their outstanding municipal tickets or warrants can stop by Olathe Municipal Court Saturday between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.