Tuesday, June 1

Fugitive Safe Surrender at your local Church

"In mid-June, if you're wanted on a crime, you can turn yourself in to the cops in a church. Baltimore is the latest of several cities, including Washington, to embrace Operation Safe Surrender...It's open to people wanted on nonviolent misdemeanors and felonies who want to clear their name without ending up in handcuffs. In return for your surrender, prosecutors say they will do what they can, within reason, to keep you out of prison."

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According to the U.S. Marshal Service, "Fugitive Safe Surrender is a unique, creative, and highly successful, initiative that encourages persons wanted for non-violent felony or misdemeanor crimes to voluntarily surrender to the law in a faith-based or other neutral setting."

Each city has selected one or more specific churches to participate. This program only runs for a limited time. It most locations the time frame was limited to one particular week. Here is my concern with this program. As the word gets out among the criminal community the chances of convicted criminals randomly showing up your place of worship increases. Do you remember that game called "telephone" that you played as a child? The same principle of that game holds true with this initiative. Over time criminals are going to think that they can just come to any church and turn themselves in. May times these people are emotionally disturbed and confused, which results in an unsafe environment for you. The Fugitive Safe Surrender programs has procedures in place to deal with these concerns; however, if a criminal showed up to a church not partaking in the program then they may be caught off guard and left to hand the situation on their own. 

Regardless of whether or not your church is participating in Fugitive Safe Surrender you should be aware of this program incase someone shows up to your church.

Here is a list of some of the participating locations: 

Akron, Ohio                                   Camden, New Jersey
Cleveland, Ohio                             Columbia, South Carolina
Detroit, Michigan                            Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Indianapolis, Indiana                       Memphis, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee                     Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona                            Rochester, New York
Washington D.C.                            Wilmington, Delaware

Baltimore, Maryland

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