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U.S. Marshals Service

Fugitive Safe Surrender

Memphis, Tennessee – September 19 - 22, 2007

Fugitive Safe Surrender in the Memphis/Shelby County area took place in mid-September 2007, under the leadership of David G. Jolley, United States Marshal for the Western District of Tennessee. The four-day operation resulted in the voluntary surrender of 1,581 individuals, making it the most successful of the Marshals Service’s six Fugitive Safe Surrender programs.

FSS Memphis PhotoDr. Frank E. Ray, Sr., Senior Pastor of the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, agreed to serve as the faith-based leader of Fugitive Safe Surrender and to host the surrender days at his church. Pastor Ray recruited dozens of volunteers from his church and the community at large to assist with FSS functions during the four-day surrender period. The turn-out exceeded all expectations, with more than 600 individuals presenting themselves on the final day.

Fugitive Safe Surrender would not have been possible without the participation and support of the Shelby County General Sessions Court, the Shelby County Criminal Court, and U.S. District Court judges. Other key community leaders and criminal justice participants included Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton, Jr., Memphis and Shelby County District Attorney William L. Gibbons, Shelby County Public Defender Robert W. Jones, U.S. Attorney David W. Kustoff, Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell, the Memphis Police Department; and the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.

Preliminary results of Fugitive Safe Surrender indicate that of the 1,581 individuals who surrendered in Memphis, 211 of them were wanted for felony crimes. The majority of the felony fugitives who surrendered were wanted in connection with non-violent crimes; however, some were wanted for more serious offenses. Those with non-violent warrants were given bond, assigned new court dates, and released directly from the church, while only 45 individuals who were wanted for more violent crimes – or those with violent records – were taken into custody.

The success of the program was praised by Sheriff Luttrell, who announced the results following the conclusion of the operation. “We appreciate the partnership of Pastor Frank Ray of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church and the hundreds of volunteers from New Salem and other churches throughout Memphis and Shelby County who assisted fugitives and their families during this four-day event.”

 

Fugitive Safe Surrender

 

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