For a three-day period in early February, every sheriff's office in New Jersey had officers on the streets, searching for mothers and fathers who've been ignoring their court-mandated child support payments.

Digital Vision, ThinkStock

In the end, the annual crackdown resulted in 1,221 arrests across 21 counties.

Collections from the Feb. 2-4 raid totaled $244,088.36, a small fraction of the more than $25 million that's actually owed by the parents. The payments were enough to get them out of jail, but the back pay remains.

"It's better than nothing, and hopefully it sends these individuals the message that if you fail to continue to pay, then this will be the end result; you'll be arrested," said Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada, president of the Sheriffs' Association of New Jersey.

Strada could not say how many people the sweep initially set out to find, but he noted some individuals now live out of state or are consciously avoiding detection, or officers just have an old address.

At 206, Mercer County saw the most arrests during the crackdown, followed by Camden County. Hunterdon, Essex and Warren counties had the fewest arrests.

CHILD SUPPORT SWEEP RESULTS

  • Atlantic County - 41 arrests, $7,530 collected
  • Bergen County - 67 arrests, $39,331 collected
  • Burlington County - 77 arrests, $7,325 collected
  • Camden County - 184 arrests, $15,210 collected
  • Cape May County - 33 arrests, $6,373 collected
  • Cumberland County - 30 arrests, $4,702.97 collected
  • Essex County - 7 arrests, $0 collected
  • Gloucester County - 89 arrests, $15,148 collected
  • Hudson County - 67 arrests, $4,858 collected
  • Hunterdon County - 6 arrests, $4,994 collected
  • Mercer County - 206 arrests, $40,362 collected
  • Middlesex County - 37 arrests, $1,651 collected
  • Monmouth County - 64 arrests, $6,189.64 collected
  • Morris County - 69 arrests, $38,390 collected
  • Ocean County - 36 arrests, $10,892 collected
  • Passaic County - 40 arrests, $0 collected
  • Salem County - 60 arrests, $3,660.33 collected
  • Somerset County - 42 arrests, $5,905.42 collected
  • Sussex County - 19 arrests, $6,168 collected
  • Union County - 38 arrests, $4,308 collected
  • Warren County - 9 arrests, $1,090 collected

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