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OKC Marshals Go Door To Door Collecting Millions In Unpaid Tickets

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The city uses 10 armed officers in its Marshall's Office to track down those who refuse to pay their fines, even after years. The city uses 10 armed officers in its Marshall's Office to track down those who refuse to pay their fines, even after years.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

If you've paid a traffic ticket recently, you've probably been astounded at the cost.

Those tickets add up to tens of millions of dollars for the city.

But collecting all that cash, from traffic fines to code violations, can be a challenge.

The city uses 10 armed officers in its Marshall's Office to track down those who refuse to pay their fines, even after years.

OKC claims it collects around 95% of the 24 million it writes in violation fees every year.

But right now, there is $13 million outstanding just in traffic tickets.

Most of that money ends in OKC's general fund.

8/15/2008 Related Story: OKC To Crack Down On Unpaid Tickets

"We just don't collect them all, the year they are written," OKC Court Administrator Stacey Davis said.

Chief Deputy Marshall Robert Tunnell, a former cop, said he's had a gun pulled on him as he executes warrants.

"We have to get creative," Tunnell said a lot of the time people won't answer the door.

Tunnell said co-workers have even dressed in a McDonalds' uniform to deliver free food to get people to come out of their homes.

"It works," Tunnell said he refuses to reveal all his secrets.

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