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239 fugitives turn themselves in during first day of safe surrender program

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jun 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that 239 individuals turned themselves in Wednesday during the first day of the Ohio Attorney General's Fugitive Safe Surrender Program in Summit County.

Among 192 people with misdemeanor warrants, 586 warrants were cleared. Among the 6 people with felony warrants, 7 felony warrants were cleared and 23 misdemeanor warrants were cleared.

"We are very happy that a number of individuals took this opportunity to come in and get their warrants taken care of today," DeWine said. "Those who still have active warrants have three more days to take advantage of this great program. The majority of people who come in will have their warrant resolved in a few hours."

The event continues from 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday at The House of the Lord, 1650 Diagonal Road, Akron.

The Ohio Attorney General's Fugitive Safe Surrender Program gives individuals with misdemeanors and low-level felonies in Summit County the chance to resolve their warrants in a church or other community-based setting.   There are about 6,000 felony warrants in Summit County and 16,000 misdemeanor warrants in Akron, Barberton and Stow. 

The goal of the Ohio Attorney General's Fugitive Safe Surrender Program is to allow those with outstanding warrants to resolve them in a neutral environment, eliminating the need for law enforcement to seek those individuals out and take them into custody. 

In addition to law enforcement and judges, public defenders are in attendance to provide legal advice to those who surrender.  Other social service providers and community organizations are also on hand to provide guidance, assistance and day care services, and representatives from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles are present to reinstate the licenses of those who qualify. In all, about 200 staff members and volunteers participated in Wednesday's event.

While this is not an amnesty program, judges will give consideration to those who voluntarily turn themselves in during the event, and the majority of those who surrender are released on the same day after having their cases heard and adjudicated. Local authorities will conduct a warrant sweep after the program concludes in an effort to arrest those whose warrants are still active.

Those with questions on the program can call the Ohio Attorney General's Fugitive Safe Surrender Hotline at (877) 647-8773. Fugitive Safe Surrender FAQs can be found on the Ohio Attorney General's website.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has conducted the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program in Ohio since 2011.  The Summit County event will be the Ohio Attorney General's fifth Fugitive Safe Surrender event.  The U.S. Marshals Service previously managed the program.

In addition to the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the following partners are also involved in the event: Akron Bar Association, Akron Beacon Journal, Akron City Prosecutor's Office, Akron METRO, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Akron Municipal Clerk of Courts, Akron Municipal Court, Akron Police Department, Akron Urban League, Akron Urban Minority Alcoholism Drug Abuse Outreach Program, Barberton Municipal Court, Brown Mackie College, Case Western Reserve University - Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, City of Akron, Clear Channel Outdoor, Community Legal Aid, Fame Fathers, Greenleaf Family Services, Info Line, Inc, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Open M Ministries, Oriana House, Project Learn of Summit County, Radio One, Rubber City Radio Group, Stow Municipal Court, Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Board, Summit County Clerk of Courts, Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Summit County Department of Job and Family Services, Summit County Domestic Relations Court, Summit County Executive’s Office, Summit County Legal Defenders Office, Summit County Prosecutor's Office, Summit County Reentry Network, Summit County Sheriff's Office, The House of the Lord, The University of Akron Legal Clinic, The University of Akron School of Law, Truly Reaching You Ministries (TRY), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, WEWS Television.

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