Norwalk Municipal Court Judge John Ridge took his show on the road today -- and if early indications mean anything it was a successful adventure.
Operation Safe Surrender is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Any person with an active warrant can turn themselves in and the case will be heard at that time. Norwalk Police Officer Seth Fry said anybody who turns themselves in will receive "favorable consideration" and most are likely to go home the same day. That does not apply to violent misdemeanors or any felony offenses.
Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light calls it "one-stop shopping."
Ridge said he is going in with an open mind.
'We are not setting any goal," he said earlier this week. "From our point of view it is costing the court nothing other than part of the advertising. We have adjusted our personnel with their time to cover this. If we don't have great success there is nothing lost. We are hoping people will take advantage of this. There are a lot of people out there living with this burden. This will be a chance to start anew.
"We will not be forgiving things in the past. However, we will work out deals with paying back their fines. If it is a violent charge we will have to deal with that. The vast majority of people who turn themselves in will go home that day."
As of 9 a.m. today three people had turned themselves in. Court Administrator Kim Light said a number of people came in throughout the week to turn themselves in and pay their fines.
Of the three people who turned themselves in today, Ridge set up payment schedules and said jail time would be suspended if the fines were paid in full.