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Law enforcement agencies, local church join hands for Operation Clean Slate

The Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD) in partnership with the City of Columbia Police Dept. and the Greater St. Luke Baptist Church is again launching OPERATION CLEAN SLATE, offering those Midlands-area citizens with outstanding arrest warrants to wipe their slates clean, expedite the judicial process and start life afresh.

Operation Clean Slate is a previously successful program wherein citizens no longer have to deal with the angst of outstanding warrants.

“Participating in this program is an expression of newfound responsibility and good faith,” says Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. “Coming forward may not seem easy at first. But it’s the right thing to do. It eliminates personal anxiety over the warrant, and it avoids an arrest and possible jail time. We don’t want to jail anyone. We are reaching out to help those individuals and their families who may, in fact, feel like no one wants to help them.”

Substantive “help” is at the core of the program.

“The last time we offered this more than 60 people turned themselves in and were not taken to jail,” says MAJ Stephany Snowden, director of Community Initiatives for the RCSD. “It really helps individuals start their lives off with a clean slate.”

According to Lott, the program is “an opportunity to clear up one’s charges in a safe environment, see a judge immediately, have bond set and possibly pay fines owed without having to first go to jail.”

Lott adds, “If you have an outstanding warrant, this is really a great way to start over; start the new year off in the right way for yourself and your family.”

Operation Clean Slate will be held this Fri., Jan. 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the M.L. Smith Child Development Center of Greater St. Luke Baptist Church, 5213 Farrow Road in Columbia.

Those residing in Richland County wanting to participate are urged to expedite the processing of their paperwork by phoning the RCSD Warrants Division at (803) 576-3185 prior to Jan. 20, or – for outstanding warrants in the City of Columbia – phone the Columbia Police Dept. at (803) 545-0175.             
– For more information, please visit http://www.rcsd.net/.

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