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Four-day Fugitive Safe Surrender event sees 1,548 people surrender

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jun 30, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that 1,548 individuals turned themselves in during the Ohio Attorney General’s four day Fugitive Safe Surrender event in Summit County, clearing a total of 3,669 warrants.

"We are pleased that so many people took advantage of this opportunity to surrender and do the right thing,” DeWine said. "Some of these individuals have been running from their past warrant or warrants for years.  Now that they've cleared up their past, they can focus on a better future."

The event was held at The House of the Lord, 1650 Diagonal Road in Akron, on June 25, 26, 27 and 28.

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.   Before the Summit County Fugitive Safe Surrender event, there were approximately 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 were in attendance to provide legal advice to those who surrendered.  Other social service providers and community organizations were also on hand to provide guidance, assistance and day care services, and representatives from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles were present to reinstate the licenses of those who qualified.  In all, about 200 staff members and volunteers participated daily.

While this is not an amnesty program, judges did give consideration to those who voluntarily turned themselves in during the event, and the majority of those who surrendered were released on the same day after having their cases heard and adjudicated.  Now that the event is over, local authorities will begin conducting warrant sweeps, in an effort to arrest those whose warrants are still active.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has conducted the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program in Ohio since 2011. The Summit County event was 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 were 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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