(Columbus, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced that he is committed to continuing the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program in Ohio. DeWine, as a United States Senator, sponsored legislation that became law to authorize funding for the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program.
"I have a long-standing commitment to the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program, and I want to see it continue in Ohio. By giving people who have outstanding warrants for misdemeanors and low-level felonies the chance to resolve these issues in a church or other community-based setting, we can also help protect our peace officers from potentially being involved in a more violent encounter," said Attorney General Mike 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.
DeWine said that his office will hire a staff person to coordinate future Fugitive Safe Surrender events in Ohio. The staff person will be charged with working with local judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, court personnel, probation officers, and community resources, including clergy and social services. The Attorney General's Office will also be seeking media partners to publicize future events.
"This program only works when we can bring all of the partners together. We will be reaching out to local judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, civic leaders and clergy to continue this successful program," added DeWine.
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840