Clark Co. Sheriff's Deputies use unusual manpower to find 'deadbeat' parents

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- In Clark County, school resource officers are typically put back into the rotation during summer break. But this summer, the sheriff's office used the officers to find and arrest 32 people who owe thousands of dollars in back child support.

"Thirty-two people in a month and a half is pretty good," Det. Cpl. Scottie Maples said. 

They've all been arrested by Clark County Sheriff's deputies.

"They were primarily focused on subjects with child support debts," Det. Maples said.

If being a parent is hard work, the suspects might tell you it is also expensive -- even if you're not in your child's life -- and some of the debt is way up there.

"It ranges from about $500 up to $70,000 is the most," explained Maples.

Detective Maples said no money has been collected yet, but the suspects owe a total of $339,348.76 in back child support.

"That'll be something the courts would handle, to pass down judgment and or set them up on a payment plan. Our job is to just apprehend them and bring 'em before the court."

Det. Maples said the sheriff's office found the extra manpower to do that inside southern Indiana schools.

"We took two of our school resource officers and sent them out on a specialty detail to try to locate people who had child support warrants and located, apprehended them and arrested them," he said.

In some cases the resource officers had to get creative to track the suspects down.

"We looked at a subject's criminal history that was going on and realized he had court in Harrison County. These two officers printed a picture out, drove to Harrison County, stood by the metal detectors when he walked in for court and were able to apprehend him."

The cases are now in the hands of the courts to decide how the money will be collected.

Meanwhile, the sheriff's office says the plan is to do this again next summer.

Related: 'Turn it around' program offers alternative to jail and equips parents to pay child support

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