Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The shooting of a bounty hunter last month has some people asking for stricter regulations. Right now, Kansas does not require bounty hunters to have any kind of license or even training. The Kansas Bail Agents Association says that jeopardizes safety.
Bounty hunters are contracted by licensed bail bonds agents to find defendants who failed to show up for court. Last month, William Poyner, an unlicensed bounty hunter, went after a fugitive in southeast Wichita. He ended up getting shot.
On Tuesday, members of the Kansas Bail Agents Association spoke to the Sedgwick County Commission. They asked for support in changing laws to require bounty hunters to be licensed and trained. Bondsman Chris Fisher says training is the key to safety.
"In many situations, with the proper training, you never know what can be avoided. Someone can learn how to defuse a situation or keep a situation from escalating if they have a little more training," said Fisher.
Kansas does not currently regulate bounty hunters. Anyone who hasn't committed a felony in the last 10 years can legally track down fugitives and make arrests. Some states require bounty hunters to be licensed.
The Sedgwick County Commission is working closely with the Sedgwick County Sheriff and the Wichita Police Department on the issue. In the meantime, the Kansas Bail Agents Association hopes to have a bill in the state legislature by next year.