Seventeen people were arrested on Wednesday for failing to pay child support as part of a roundup conducted by Smith County in conjunction with the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division.

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith held a briefing about 4:30 a.m. and dispatched 12 teams of law enforcement officers to track down noncompliant parents in the county, according to a news release from the Texas Attorney General's Office.

Child support division investigators from the Attorney General’s Office aided in tracking down the noncompliant parents.

Seven parents already have been arrested since the start of November prior to Wednesday’s roundup, according to the news release.

The cash bonds that parents pay to get out of jail go to the custodial parents and children who are owed back child support, according to the AG's office.“My office will not allow parents to sidestep their fundamental and moral responsibility to care for their children,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in the news release. “I want to thank the law enforcement officials who held parents accountable for their court-ordered child support, and I encourage all parents who may owe back child support to contact my office immediately to resolve the issue.”

Parents who have fallen behind on their child support payments, but are not subject to warrants for their arrest should immediately contact the Attorney General’s Child Support Division at 1-800-252-8014 to make payment arrangements.

Statewide, child support collected by the Attorney General’s Office exceeded $3.9 billion for the state fiscal year that ended Aug. 31. Parents in Smith County paid $37.8 million of that amount, according to the news release.