According to the sheriff’s website, Mahnomen County covers close to 600 square miles. In the year 2005, more than 240 crimes were reported to the authorities in Mahnomen County. As the county’s chief law enforcement agency, the sheriff had to deal with those crimes, including the 35 violent crimes.
The sheriff offers a crime tip line that asks for leads on drug activity, assaults, gun usage, thefts, and vandalism. There may be a temptation to use the line for arrest warrant search inquiries in Mahnomen County. However, the line is for gathering information, not disseminating it. The sheriff wants people to contact them if they know a person who needs police assistance or information on criminal activity. The tip line is on the sheriff’s site, http://www. co. mahnomen. mn. us/sheriff/tip_line. html. There is also a toll-free telephone tip line, 1-877-603-0056. All calls are confidential, and callers do not need to identify themselves.
Thus, if a person knew that an individual nearby had an active warrant for their arrest, the tip line may prove very useful, especially if the information results in arrests. However, in terms of finding out if someone has any outstanding warrants or gathering information on arrest records, the tip line is not a viable option. For an arrest warrant search, it is best to contact the Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office through other channels. Their address is 311 North Main St., Mahnomen, MN, 56557, and their telephone number is 218-935-2255.
As with all law enforcement agents, the sheriff gets the power to make arrests from the Minnesota Statutes. Chapter 629 of the statutes cover arrests. Under chapter 629, an arrest is defined as:
…taking a person into custody that the person may be held to answer for a public offense.’ Arrest’ includes actually restraining a person or taking into custody a person who submits.
The individuals authorized to make arrests include peace officers (with or without arrest warrants, depending upon the circumstance) and private citizens. However, if a person has active warrants from Mahnomen County for their arrest, just because a civilian knows about them does not mean they should take action. How a person reacts to a “citizen’s arrest” is unpredictable, and the encounter could turn violent. Instead, they should contact the Mahnomen County sheriff to report their suspicion that someone with arrest warrants is in the area.