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August 04, 2007 Middle Tennessee Joint Fugitive Task Force
U.S. Marshal Denny King, (615) 736-5417
Tennessee’s first Fugitive Safe Surrender Program an Overwhelming Success
Fugitive Safe Surrender LogoNashville, Tennessee became the fifth city to invite fugitives to turn themselves in at church. At the end of the fourth day, 561 persons surrendered. The Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville hosted the surrender days. Pastor William R. Harris with strong support from the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship welcomed those who stepped across the threshold of the church-turned-courthouse.

Fugitives from several states came to surrender. Fugitive Charles Thomas flew to Nashville from Texas on Saturday to turn himself in. Although wanted in a county outside of Davidson, U.S. Marshal King stepped in to help. Contact was attempted with Sumner County Judge Dee Gay who was out on the golf course. Judge Gay’s wife brought him a cellular telephone so that he could hold court. A new court date was set, the arrest warrant was lifted, and Thomas was released. A vast majority of those who entered in fear, left feeling relief and joy.

“Nashville is the fifth city in the nation to host Fugitive Safe Surrender and put its program together faster than any other city,” Marshal King said. “After four long days, I am extremely pleased with the results. The 4,000th person from the five cities involved in 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 Ronal Serpas said. “This program could not have succeeded without the strong mutual trust and respect between law enforcement and Nashville’s clergy.”

Fugitive Safe Surrender was organized with public and private partnerships which include Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, District Attorney General’s Office, Davidson County Public Defender, Board of Probation and Parole, General Sessions Court, Criminal Court, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk, Metro Nashville Police Department, Comcast Spotlight, Purity, Chick-Fil-A, Walmart, Sprint-Nextel, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Fraternal Order of Police, Central Parking, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee Department of Transportation, and the Office of Emergency Management.

Fugitive Safe Surrender will be moving to Memphis, September 19-22 with its 39,000 outstanding warrants. U.S. Marshal David Jolley from the Western District of Tennessee was in Nashville to observe the program. He is excited about the coming of Fugitive Safe Surrender, and he is looking forward to giving thousands of people the opportunity for the first step toward a second chance.