Joe P. Asher
Harlan Daily Enterprise
For the last few years, Kentucky law enforcement has been using E-Warrants, an electronic warrant system that has modernized the process of obtaining and serving warrants in the state. The E-warrant system pulls all active warrants in Kentucky, allowing law enforcement instant access to active warrants whenever they run a name through the system.
Trooper Brad Arterburn, Public Affairs Officer for KSP Post 5 in Campbellsburg, noted the E-warrant system is intended to “eliminate the paper warrant system.”
“The paper warrant system created a lot of problems,” said Arterburn. “If somebody in Campbellsburg needed to get a warrant on somebody that was in Harlan, we’d have to call down there… and have somebody physically go to the courthouse and find that warrant, (then) fax it up here and get it to us.”
With the E-warrant system this is not a problem, noted Arterburn.
“If somebody in Mayfield needs to find a warrant on somebody in Pikeville, they can get on the E-warrant system, pull it up and have a copy of the warrant on hand within seconds,” said Arterburn.
Harlan Police Chief Mike Thomas said the E-warrant system provides more up to date information than the old system.
“With the old Courtnet system, it might show a warrant but it’s possibly not up to date,” said Thomas. “You’d have to wait for 45 minutes or an hour to see if it was a valid warrant.”
According to Arterburn, the E-warrant system will show any active warrants.
“If there is an active warrant, say they got a ticket in Paducah and they were from Harlan and never went back to pay it… those warrants are going to stay active until either they are served or the judge pulls them for some reason,” said Arterburn. “It could be a warrant from 10 years ago, it’s still going to be in the system.”
Arterburn said that if an active warrant shows up, troopers have no choice other than to serve the warrant.
“If there’s a warrant on that person, it says that ‘we shall arrest.’ If there’s an active warrant on somebody we do arrest them at that time,” said Arterburn.
Arterburn noted there are ways for people to find out if they have outstanding warrants.
“I’d recommend that they call their local state police post. The dispatcher there should be able to run that person through the E-warrant system and check on it,” said Arterburn. “If they won’t, contact the district court office.”
It should be noted 911 is for emergency calls only.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org