The arrest of an unlicensed bounty hunter in Oklahoma City Thursday indicates a new law is working like it’s supposed to, according to the Senate author.
The Bail Enforcement and Licensing Act, authored by Sen. Ralph Shortey in 2013, requires all bail enforcers in Oklahoma to undergo training, psychological testing and a background check before being licensed by the state Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). Anyone working as a bail enforcer in Oklahoma without a license could be charged with a felony. The law went into effect earlier this year on Feb. 1.
“I am pleased to see a situation like this where the law is working as intended,” said Shortey, R-Oklahoma City. “Hopefully the word will get out that Oklahoma is not going to tolerate unlicensed bounty hunting. Public safety can be jeopardized when bounty hunters are using wild and violent methods to pursue a jumper.”
Shortey is referring to a previous case in Midwest City where bounty hunters went to the wrong address and held an innocent family hostage for hours before realizing they were in the wrong house. He also cites another instance of abuse where bounty hunters used a stun gun on a man and killed his dog while in pursuit of a jumper.
The bounty hunter arrested yesterday in Oklahoma City has an arrest record with previous convictions of rape, burglary and aggravated assault.
“We passed this law with the intent of creating accountability for proper training and licensure, so I applaud those who are enforcing the new rules to ensure bail enforcers working in Oklahoma are doing their job with the public’s safety as a priority,” said Shortey.