3 Prosecutors to write warrants in Genesee County, streamlining process
(7/11/2019) - Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton is creating a Warrant Unit in his Office.
It'll consist of 3 assistant prosecutors whose sole job is to write the arrest and search warrants for police departments in the County.
Leyton said they'll make sure everything is correct the first time.
"No longer will we have questionable warrants coming up through the system," he explained. "This should make it more efficient, this should make it easier to plead cases out because the defense lawyers will understand these are very tightly written warrants. And, we should be able to move cases through the system a lot faster."
Leyton believes his office is the busiest per capita in the United States.
He said they handle close to 4,000 felony cases a year, reviewing about 8,000 felony warrants in that time.
With this new unit, he expects the backlog of warrants to be cut down significantly.
When they're not done on time, the accused has to be let go, before charges are issued.
Leyton added the Unit will allow police officers to spend less time in the courthouse; because, they won't have to wait around for an available prosecutor to write their warrant.
That's just one of many ways he expects the community will benefit from the change.
"I'm hopeful that cases - by resolving at an earlier stage - this will impact the jail population, which is constantly overcrowded," Leyton said. "We're hoping to help the Sheriff out here and get some of his inmates out earlier, move them through quicker, have fewer pre-trial detainees. It make take some time before this all starts to kick in, but I'm hopeful that that'll be the result."
Leyton said he's been trying to create the unit for some time, but the funds weren't there. They almost weren't this time either. The Board of Commissioners approved the Unit in a 5 to 4 vote, providing Leyton's Office the nearly $200,000 to make it happen.