The Warrant Service Officer Agreement allows specially trained local corrections officers to execute federal warrants for illegal immigrants in jail, which could keep them from re-entering the community.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office announced May 6 that Sheriff Tom Knight had officially signed an agreement to adopt the Warrant Service Officer program.
Knight signed the agreement on Monday, along with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells and Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson.
In effect, the Sheriff’s Office will be partnering with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to “authorize deputies who already work within the correctional setting to execute federal warrants in real-time so criminal illegal aliens cannot be released back into the community.”
When immigrants living here illegally are released on local charges from the Sarasota County Jail, the Sheriff's Office in the past was allowed to detain them for up to 48 hours if a federal warrant was issued by ICE. The Warrant Service Officer Agreement now gives local law enforcement officers with special training and certification the authority to execute federal warrants, which prevents them from being released into the community.
“This program equips deputies with the specific authorization to execute warrants on criminal illegal aliens who are already in our custody,” Knight said. “My hope is that by executing federal warrants at the local level, we can really put a stop to criminal illegal aliens re-entering Sarasota County. Agreements like these take courage and collaboration and really speak to the partnership Florida sheriffs have with state and federal law enforcement.”
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is one of the first 10 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. to sign the Warrant Service Officer Agreement.