What Does It Take To Bring Fugitives Back?

GREENSBORO, N.C. - From out on the streets to behind bars. Picking up fugitives isn't that easy - and it isn't cheap.

The state extradition team handles fugitives. Sometimes the state hires a company with a secure van to pick a fugitive up. This way the secure van can bring back three or four fugitives at a time.

But the preferred and most used method is a state team staffer picking up the fugitive. The state extradition team has 10 workers. Six are administrators and support.

The other four are extradition lieutenants. They literally spend their lives on the road. They each make eight to 10 trips a month bringing back fugitives.

Normally one lieutenant picks up one fugitive. Two make the trip if it's a high profile case.

The whole operation costs about $1.5 million dollars each year. Your tax money. All state funds. Counties don't have to chip in a dime.

"We feel like each individual offender or inmate that have committed a crime should be brought to justice. And if it is based on the fact that the state has to provide those necessary funds in order to make the citizens safe then I think that it is worthwhile," Department of Public Safety's Johnny Hawkins said.

The Department of Public Safety extradition director says his office hasn't ever gone over budget. But there's no limit on how many fugitives counties can have them pick up. So there could be more fugitives than money. But Hawkins says the state would find a way to get the fugitives back. After all, they picked up 1,132 last year. Only 81 of those fugitives came from the 14 counties we call the Triad. And more than half of those, 44, came from Guilford County.


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