Richmond County’s lifted cloud program aims to help clear warrants

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 6:39 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta’s lifted cloud program is to help people who have outstanding warrants or unpaid fines related to crimes.

The sheriff’s office says if you show up, instead of arresting you, they’ll help you get things cleared up.

This program is not for anyone wanted on violent or serious charges.

Operation Lifted Cloud is not only lifting warrants but people’s hopes and dreams.

“I just want to get my name clear,” said Senjin Coleman, Augusta resident.

Coleman had a bench warrant for a traffic violation, and now he doesn’t have to live in fear of going to jail for missing court.

“I don’t have to look behind my back wondering if I’m going to get caught today or tomorrow,’ he said.

Coleman is finally able to fulfill any opportunity given to him now that his name is cleared.

“I’m moving. I’m actually moving and did not want to take this with me,” he said.

The solicitor’s office says since COVID, they have seen an uptick in bench warrants being issued.

Operation Lifted Cloud lets people come in and settle any misdemeanor bench warrants on their record.

Solicitor General Omeeka Loggins said: “It’s not going to go anywhere but put it in a safe environment where they will be able to do it and be in fear of being arrested.”

A misdemeanor in Georgia can carry up to 12 months in jail or up to a $1,000 fine.

Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Intelligence Director Lateisha A. Mosquera said: “We can’t arrest our way out of the crimes we are having right now and the issues we are having in our community.”

Some of the warrants they’ve seen relate to traffic tickets and missing court.

State Court Judge Kelly McIntyre said: “It can be something as simple as a speeding ticket all the way to a suspended license charge.

McIntyre is here to sign off on final depositions.

“When people walk out this door, everything has been done,” said McIntyre.

Operation Lifted Cloud will be back on Aug. 31 at Greater Young Zion Baptist Church.

Mosquera said: “This will allow them the opportunity to move forward because that cloud has been lifted off of them.”