WHITEHALL, Ohio (WCMH) – Police in Whitehall are calling the division’s first Mayor’s Court Warrant Forgiveness Day a success. The Whitehall Division of Police hosted it from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. It gave people with non-violent charges the chance to get a new court date without the fear of getting arrested.

“First time we’ve done this. We were just looking at alternative ways to get people to come in and take care of their warrants,” said Sgt. Jon Earl.

Sgt. Earl wants to be clear the program was only for people with traffic violations and non-violent misdemeanors. He also reiterated it is not a dismissal of charges, just moving court dates. The Whitehall Division of Police is up to more than 1,000 warrants for missed court dates, according to Sgt. Earl.

“This is kind of like a holiday gift. Come into the Whitehall police department, take care of your warrant, you don’t have to worry about coming into court or making any payments on this until after the holidays are over,” said Sgt. Earl.

Sgt. Early said some people were skeptical about coming in and ended up being glad they did. All the court dates are set for after the new year. When officers spend a day knocking on doors for warrants, Sgt. Earl said they end up getting ahold of between six and 10. On Thursday, 32 people came in.

“It really is just time-consuming so even clearing up 30 of these today will in the future clear up officers to be able to be in the city of Whitehall and respond to calls,” said Sgt. Earl.

Police hope Whitehall can host another Warrant Forgiveness Day in the near future.