'Most wanted' feature starts in Enquirer
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
Criminals beware. Starting this week, the Morgan County Sheriff's Department is teaming up with the Hartselle Enquirer and Morgan County residents to track down the county's most wanted.
In less than one year, Morgan County residents have helped the Morgan County Sheriff's Department locate more than 400 people with outstanding warrants against them for bad checks, failure to appear in court, unpaid child support, and many other offenses through a weekly "Most Wanted" page previously featured in the Decatur Daily.
The page is now a weekly feature in the Hartselle Enquirer.
"The page has generated a lot of interest in the county and has been a tremendous help to us," Sheriff Greg Bartlett said. "Residents like to do good for each other and the community by keeping an eye out for criminals. They don't want others to do bad and get away with it."
According to Bartlett, approximately 10,000 warrants were backlogged when he took office last November. The Most Wanted page has resulted in residents calling in to anonymously give information on the whereabouts of about 280 of those offenders.
However, Bartlett said law-abiding citizens aren't the only ones who keep an eye on the Most Wanted page.
"About 150 cases have been cleared by the offenders seeing their own picture in the paper and turning themselves in," Bartlett said. "Our backlog of warrants is now down to about 9,500."
The Enquirer is also excited about being part of the project.
"This is just a small way we can assist the sheriff's department and help the community," Publisher Leada DeVaney said. "We'd also like to thank our advertisers for making this page possible. They are partners in their effort, as well."
Bartlett said all callers remain anonymous and no record is kept to track calls. If you have any information on any of Morgan County's most wanted offenders, please call 351-4800 or 301-1174.