The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award
The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, government agencies, universities or programs. About Peter K. O'Rourke
2006 Winner: Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Last Call Unit
The Last Call Unit was established because the Wayne County Sheriff's staff found that there were more than 7,000 failure-to-appear warrants stemming from alcohol-related driving offenses in this Michigan county. Many of these warrants were for third and fourth offenses, which are considered felonies in Michigan, as well as some for vehicular manslaughter. After being arrested, spending the night in jail and posting bond, many offenders did not show up for court. Because the sheriff has county-wide authority, Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans decided his agency would tackle this issue.
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office's Last Call Unit moved across the county, district court by district court, and pulled active bench warrants. Deputies conducted a one to two-week sweep of the area, rounding up as many people as they could. Arrests were almost always uneventful, occurring at the individual's home or place of employment.
Those picked up by the unit have their cars impounded and pay as much as $900 to retrieve them. Not only has the unit maintained an arrest rate nearly triple what was predicted, it has worked through enough old warrants to start taking new ones immediately after a person fails to appear for court. The Last Call Unit program provides help to ensure that those arrested and charged with drunk driving in Michigan are processed officially through the court system and, if warranted, appropriate sentencing takes place.
For more information, contact Susan Hall, Director of Administration, at (313) 967-2926.