Hopkins County Campaign to Take a Slice Out of Crime

Published 03/17 2014 05:56PM

Updated 03/17 2014 06:07PM

The campaign, known as March Madness Most Wanted, is back.  Three years ago, Hopkins County authorities introduced a unique way to catch deadbeat parents.  They put their faces on pizza boxes.

We have our favorite pizzas.

"The main one is called the 'Wide Load.' It's an everything type of pizza," says Willis Deitz of Rocksans Pizza Co.

But a favorite of some officials is back,  Not inside the box, but outside.

"Most of them ask 'What's this for?' and we explain to them it's for parents they are searching for child support that have gotten behind on their payments," Deitz explains. "And they're like, 'Well, that's a good idea.'"

Hopkins County officials and several pizza restaurants re-started the March Madness Most Wanted campaign.   The Commonwealth's Attorney provides the pictures of the top 12 people in the county behind on child support.  The pizza places put those pictures on every box of pizza that leaves their restaurants.  Some of the deadbeat parents allegedly owe more than $30,000.

"The overwhelming number of cases we do have involve fathers, but we do have mothers that are also under a court order to pay child support," says Hopkins County Attorney Todd P'Pool. "So, we want to be fair to both men and women."

P'Pool says the 2011 campaign led to the arrests of at least three people. He adds these boxes didn't just deliver a little justice, they also got some people to deliver on their child support payments.

"A number of folks came forward to get caught up and pay their child support because they did not want to show up on someone's front door in front of a pizza box," says P'Pool.

Officials hope this edition takes as big a bite as it did three years ago.

"I hope it will be more successful even," says Deitz. He also says he's also putting flyers on some large bakery deliveries as well.

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