CLEVELAND — Peter J. Elliott, United States Marshal for Northern Ohio, Bishop Joey Johnson of the House of the Lord Church in Akron, and the Reverend C.J. Mathews of Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Cleveland have announced the creation of the Fugitive Safe Surrender Hotline.
“This program offers a great opportunity to deal with past issues and move forward, as well as provides services that will help participants be successful in the long run," Elliott said. "I am grateful for the community partnerships that have made this program possible.”
In 2005, Elliott, along with Reverend Mathews, created the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program in Cleveland, Ohio. During the 4-day period at Mount Sinai Church, 850 fugitives peacefully and voluntarily surrendered. Due to the success in Cleveland, the program was implemented nationally where over 75,000 fugitives have peacefully and voluntarily surrendered.
“This program is the first step at a second chance," Mathews said. "Literally thousands of fugitives have taken advantage of this opportunity to clear up their warrants and move on with their lives without having to worry about their past catching up with them.”
With the current Covid-19 concerns and the inability for large gatherings, the FSS Hotline has been created to supplement this very successful program. For those fugitives who are wanted, the FSS Hotline will give them the opportunity to peacefully surrender and take their first step toward a second chance. For those who qualify, job placement and community re-entry services have been built into this program.
“This is a proven program, a successful partnership between the faith community and law enforcement," Johnson said. "The past success speaks for itself; this is a unique opportunity to deal with any outstanding warrants and take advantage of assistance to move forward. I have seen it firsthand in my church where thousands surrendered during previously held FSS programs.”
Persons with outstanding warrants are encouraged to call the hotline 24/7 for more information.