Authorities round-up dead beat parents - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/26/09

Authorities round-up dead beat parents

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock authorities rounded-up more than a dozen, dead-beat parents delinquent on child support to the tune of more than $350,000. Investigators started their search Wednesday afternoon and continued through Thursday.

Lubbock County Sheriff David Gutierrez tells NewsChannel 11 his deputies arrested 17-people. Combined, they owed $352,435.92.  The Attorney General Office says they depend on local law enforcement to hold parents accountable.

"We're trying to get the message out," Sheriff Gutierrez said.  That message, folks who owe child support will have to pay.  Lubbock County Sheriff's Investigators went out in three teams of two Wednesday afternoon, working into the early morning hours of Thursday, and then continued Thursday afternoon.  "The total is well over $350,000 in back child support cases.  One individual owed about $63,000, several other were in the $40,000 range," Gutierrez said. 

"The focus of this round-up is parents who are dodging their responsibilities," Spokesperson for the Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division Janece Rolf said.  She tells NewsChannel 11 many of the parents had gone years without paying.  "Many of the parents have been given many opportunities to pay, because going to jail is a last resort," Rolf said.  She says some parents will bond out with a promise to return to court and pay, while others will spend 180-days in jail.

Sheriff's investigators will continue their efforts to track down dead-beat parents, and Rolf says their work is invaluable. "We rely on local law enforcement to hold parents in the community accountable. We are so grateful to the sheriff for his diligence and pursuing parents that are not taking care of their children," Rolf said.  The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office holds these round-ups about four times a year.

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