Manhunt Mondays Launch

By WEEK Reporter

November 15, 2010 Updated Nov 16, 2010 at 11:10 AM CDT

Across the country, budget cuts and lay-offs have made things tight for law enforcement agencies.

The cuts have made it difficult to maintain many police resources-- including serving warrants.

Now, News 25 and the Peoria County Sheriffs department are teaming up to keep wanted criminals off our streets.

If you just look through Peoria County Sheriff's website, you may see a name you know. That's because right now in Peoria County there are 40,000 names with outstanding warrants attached to them.

"They are warrants, not people. So one guy could have five warrants or six warrants," said Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy.

Take Kamara Davis. He has six warrants dating back to 2008. Two are for carrying a gun illegally, two are for drugs and two bail bond violations.

Sheriff Mike McCoy says guys like Davis are nearly impossible for his deputies to find. Plus, because of budget cuts deputies rarely have the opportunity to serve warrants anymore.

"The way most of the warrants are built now is through traffic stops and acquaintances when we go on calls," said Sheriff McCoy. "We make an awful lot of warrant arrests just on traffic stops.

So, a unique solution, what we're calling Manhunt Monday. Every week we will pick four of the areas most dangerous and high profile fugitives, put them on our newscasts and website for everyone to see.

"Hopefully when people see this, when they watch it on TV," said the Sheriff, "they will recognize the people, call us and tell us where they're at."

McCoy says the public rarely knows who is wanted. And when they do, one of two things happens...

"A person knows their picture is on TV at 6 and then last night, and they have to go to work tomorrow.. Half the people say oh my gosh, I have to take care of this so they will call," said McCoy.

"The other part is the people who are still living the lift of crime. A lot of their family members will turn them in. You don't want to run around with a guy who you know has a major warrant out for him because that is not going to be good for you either," continued McCoy.

The Sheriff encourages anyone who thinks they may have a warrant to get it settled now before it is too late.

"They could call the Sheriff's office, call the city police, we can tell them what the warrant is, what the bond is," added McCoy. "They can come in here and get it taken care of. If they don't and you get caught, you will go to jail."

In the meantime, every Monday visit our website, and look for Manhunt Monday to see if you can help these criminals to answer for the crimes they've committed.