• Unlicensed bounty hunters are illegal

    Updated:

    The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is working on a new policy that could get unlicensed bounty hunters arrested.

    The Oklahoma Council Of Law Enforcement Education And Training, or CLEET, is the agency that regulates bail enforcers otherwise known as bounty hunters.

    Since the licensing starting last month, there are 34 bounty hunters in Oklahoma. None of them have a Tulsa area address.
    "I’d rather be liable and responsible for myself,” said Virgil Wallace, a bail bondsman.

    He is a bail bondsman and used to hire bounty hunters but doesn't anymore.

    “Because I can't sit in court and explain their actions but I can explain mine,” he said.

    FOX23 reported in 2013 a bounty hunter in Midwest City used a Taser against a man and killed a man's dog. It's for instances like this Wallace thinks it is a good thing bounty hunters in Oklahoma now have to be properly trained, registered and CLEET certified.

    "Because you have bail enforcement agents doing extortion, kidnapping,” Wallace said.

    Since February 2015, state law says bounty hunters must be licensed, but FOX23 found out the law is being ignored and that's a felony.

    "They're coming in. They're still bringing people in,” said Major Shannon Clark with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

    The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is devising a policy to enforce the new law.

    "If these unlicensed that are out here performing the role of a bail enforcer and they are bringing people to the jail and they do not have a license then we are going to be making arrests,” said Clark.

    Bail bondsmen like Wallace say that’s a great idea.

    “We need to start doing something to put people in compliance," he said.

    The Sheriff's Office said yes, often times bounty hunters are going after bad guys but that it needs to be done in a professional manner.

    After all people are presumed innocent until proven guilty and it is for the safety of the bounty hunter and also the people they are looking for.

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