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U.S. Marshals Service

Fugitive Safe Surrender

Nashville, Tennessee:  August 01 - 04, 2007

FSS PhotoFugitive Safe Surrender in the Nashville/Davidson County area took place on August 1-4, 2007, under the leadership of Denny King, United States Marshal for the Middle District of Tennessee. This successful operation resulted in 561 individuals turning themselves in to law enforcement over the four-day period. Nashville was the fifth city to host a Fugitive Safe Surrender operation, and its success was a direct result of tremendous cooperation between law enforcement, the local judiciary, and the faith-based community in Davidson County.

Encouraged by the success of earlier Fugitive Safe Surrender operations in Cleveland, Phoenix, Indianapolis, and Akron, Marshal King was eager to host this innovative program in Nashville. Community leaders agreed, and within a matter of weeks several key participants had signed on. Buoyed by the enthusiasm and commitment of Metro Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas, Bishop George Price, and Pastor Michael Joyner, the program was built from the ground up in less than eight months.

Pastor William R. Harris of the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church agreed to serve as the faith-based leader of Fugitive Safe Surrender in Nashville and to host the surrender days in his church. More than 100 volunteers from diverse churches and backgrounds were recruited to serve their community during the four-day surrender period, and Bishop Price of the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship drew in broad support from pastors across Davidson County. Every church hearing of the program committed its enthusiastic support to Tennessee’s first Fugitive Safe Surrender.

“Nashville was the fifth city in the nation to host Fugitive Safe Surrender and we put our program together faster than any other city,” said Marshal King. “After four long days, I am extremely pleased with the results. The 4,000th person from the five cities involving this program surrendered in Nashville.”

“The logistics of turning Galilee Church into a fully functional booking room and courthouse was a phenomenal undertaking,” Nashville Police Chief Serpas said. “This program could not have succeeded without the strong mutual trust and respect between law enforcement and Nashville’s clergy.”

Key judicial participants included the Davidson County General Sessions Court and Criminal Courts. With the crucial assistance of informational technology personnel, the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk organized the monumental task of managing the flow of thousands of court documents from the courthouse to the church. General Sessions and Criminal Court Officers played a critical role in providing safety and assistance for judges, court personnel, and defendants.

Law enforcement partners included the Metro Nashville Police Department, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office, the Davidson County Public Defender’s Office, and the Board of Probation and Parole.

Corporate and public sector sponsors included Comcast Spotlight, Purity, Chick-Fil-A, Wal*Mart, Sprint-Nextel, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, the Fraternal Order of Police, Central Parking, Meharry Medical College, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and the Office of Emergency Management.


Fugitive Safe Surrender


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