General Crime

Operation Second Chance to Give People with Warrants for Minor Offenses Chance to Avoid Jail Over Holidays

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Twelve law enforcement agencies in Santa Clara County will allow individuals with arrest warrants for minor offenses a chance to stay out of jail for the December holiday season, a sheriff’s spokesman said. Starting Saturday, people with arrest warrants for non-violent misdemeanors or traffic violations can go to any police department or sheriff’s office in the county to receive a new court date, sheriff’s Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said.

Each person who self-surrenders on their warrant to a law enforcement agency will obtain a new “promise to appear” court date and then be released on the spot, Stenderup said. The program, called “Operation Second Chance,” is directed toward most — but not all — misdemeanor warrants, Stenderup said. The program continues through Dec. 31. Warrants for felony crimes or crimes involving violence, a firearm, resisting arrest or giving false information to a police officer do not qualify for the program, Stenderup said.

Second Chance has been successful since it started seven years ago, with more than 2,400 people taking advantage of the opportunity to avoid being jailed over the holidays, according to Stenderup. In addition to the sheriff’s office, other law enforcement agencies participating in Operation Second Chance include the police departments of Campbell, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Santa Clara, San Jose, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto. Anyone seeking more information about the program may call the sheriff’s records office at (408) 808-4717.

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