Council approves additional funding for extraditionsLet this serve as notice that we are coming after you
The Snohomish County Council on Monday took action to provide additional funding to the Sheriff’s Office for the purpose of locating, apprehending and extraditing individuals with felony warrants for violent crimes.
In January of this year Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick and U.S. Marshal Mark Ericks formed the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force (SCVOTF) in conjunction with the Washington State Patrol and the Arlington, Marysville, Everett, and Tulalip Police Departments.
The mission of the task force is to investigate and arrest persons who have active state and federal warrants. There are approximately 3,000 active felony warrants in Snohomish County.
The SCVOTF is committed to apprehending the most violent offenders in the community, specifically those who have committed crimes against children, violence against others, weapons violations and sexual offenses.
The travel costs for investigations and extraditing subjects back to Snohomish County can be significant. The U.S. Marshal’s Service budget covers costs for fugitives arrested on its own charges, but the cost to extradite fugitives wanted on local charges falls to the local law enforcement agency.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has $4,000 in its 2013 operating budget to cover these costs. The action taken by the Council on Monday adds $20,000 to the budget for a total of $24,000 for the remainder of 2013.
Snohomish County Council Chair Stephanie Wright supported the budget increase noting that “this task force is going after the worst offenders in our community. The additional funding is a small price to pay for getting dangerous criminals off the street and providing a safer environment for our residents.”
Since its inception in January, the task force has served more than 50 arrest warrants, seized more than $5,500 in cash, and removed 12 firearms from dangerous offenders.
“This task force has already produced great results for the county in just two months,” said Councilmember John Koster who chairs the Council’s Law and Justice Committee. “I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish with the additional funding.”
Sheriff John Lovick told councilmembers that the task force will aggressively pursue the fugitives on the list.
“We are serious in Snohomish County about holding people accountable for their actions,” he said. “If you are a fugitive from justice in our county, let this serve as notice that we are coming after you.”