For some fathers throughout Prince George’s County, their Father’s Day weekend was spent in sheriff’s deputy custody for failing to pay child support.
The county sheriff’s office conducted its annual “Father’s Day Warrant Sweep” from June 12 through June 14, making 51 arrests, investigating 286 warrants and closing 100 child support related warrants and writs.
This was the most successful year in terms of arrests made in the program’s three years of existence under the Child Support Enforcement Division, which has existed since 1983, said Cpl. William Milam, a county sheriff’s office spokesman.
The program was established by the division through federal and county grant funding as an initiative to help reduce the amount of open warrant child support cases throughout the county, said Milam. He said there currently are 562 open child support warrants in Prince George’s.
Sheriff’s deputies canvassed Prince George’s County along with assistance from Maryland State Police and the Calvert County and Charles County sheriff’s offices. Milam said the program included the work of 12 sheriff’s office warrant deputies, five deputies from Charles County, two deputies from Calvert County, two Maryland State troopers and 11 deputies from Prince George’s sheriff’s office’s Child Support Enforcement Division.
“What we found is when we do these opportunities with some other partners, we have more people working on a team and wind up increasing our opportunity to be successful,” said Sharon Taylor, a county sheriff’s office spokeswoman who noted one of two officers from outside agencies came into the county to assist the investigations.
Of the 286 warrants investigated, law enforcement officers made attempts to locate suspects at 136 addresses. Milam said those arrested for back child support owed more than $343,000.
Milam said the initiative is held just prior to the Father’s Day weekend to make an impact on fathers.
“It’s important that we crack down on fathers that fail to pay child support,” Milam said. “It’s an initiative child support enforcers wanted to do kind of as a wake-up call of sorts.”
Lt. Col. Regina Taylor, commander of the sheriff’s office’s field operations bureau, said this year’s initiative was very successful and benefits county families affected by failed child support payments.
“The collection of child support dollars is important to the well-being of families and children,” said Taylor, in a sheriff’s office statement.