(MANSFIELD, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that the Fugitive Safe Surrender program will expand to Richland County this October. DeWine made his announcement at Oasis of Love Church in Mansfield, where the event will be held from October 5th through 8th.
"There are currently over 5,500 outstanding warrants on record in Richland County, situations that could lead to unnecessary confrontations between offenders and law enforcement. Thanks to the partnerships with local law enforcement, judges, and political and religious leaders, Fugitive Safe Surrender Richland County has potential to have a tremendous positive impact on the community and make Richland County a safer place for families and law enforcement," said Attorney General DeWine.
Fugitive Safe Surrender offers individuals with felony and misdemeanor warrants the ability to turn themselves in to law enforcement and have their case adjudicated, typically at a community church. The Fugitive Safe Surrender Program has been a success in Cleveland since it was started by United States Marshal Pete Elliott in 2005 after a Cleveland police officer was killed. More than 34,000 people have surrendered nationally, including more than 10,000 in northern Ohio.
The Fugitive Safe Surrender Richland County event will take place October 5-8. It is the second announced expansion of the program under Attorney General DeWine, joining Fugitive Safe Surrender program that will occur in the Youngstown area in the spring of 2012.
A long-time supporter of the program since its inception, Attorney General DeWine announced in March that Fugitive Safe Surrender would continue under the Ohio Attorney General's Office after federal support was cut for the program.
"Fugitive Safe Surrender is a proven program to get persons with outstanding warrants to turn themselves in safely before situations escalate. It works because of the partnerships between the community and law enforcement. The leaders here in Mansfield and Richland County, just like Cleveland and Akron before it, have shown tremendous resolve to work together to make their communities safer," DeWine said.
Local leaders signed a memorandum of participation formalizing their commitment to holding the Fugitive Safe Surrender Richland County event. Participating with Attorney General DeWine were Richland County Sheriff J. Steve Sheldon; Richland County Common Pleas Court Judge James D. Henson; Mansfield Mayor Donald R. Culliver; Mansfield Chief of Police Dino Sgambellone; Renea Collins, Executive Pastor of Oasis of Love Church; and Dr. Walter E. Jordan, II, Senior Pastor of Oasis of Love Church.
Lisa Hackley 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney 614-466-3840