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U.S. Marshals Service

Fugitive Safe Surrender

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – September 17-20, 2008

Fugitive Safe Surrender, Philadelphia, PAFugitive Safe Surrender in the city and county of Philadelphia took place in mid-September 2008, under the stewardship of United States Marshal Gary Shovlin, and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal John Patrignani, of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Over the course of the four-day surrender period, 1,248 individuals with outstanding warrants took the opportunity to surrender to law enforcement and help pave the way for a more successful future.  As a result of an extensive public outreach and media campaign, including public service announcements with U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, hundreds of people attempted to take advantage of the program each day, making the program yet another unqualified success.  Fugitive Safe Surrender–Philadelphia was the 11th operation of its kind undertaken by the USMS.

Reverend Ernest McNear, of True Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, was instrumental in bringing Fugitive Safe Surrender to Philadelphia, and opened his church to host the program.  “The thought of doing this wouldn’t leave me.  It got into my spirits,” said the pastor.  “When you’re in the urban ministry you have to reach out . . .  I think this is the perfect demonstration of law and Grace.”  FSS Philadelphia had the highest percentage of surrenderees wanted on felony charges, a total of 424 people, approximately 34% of the total.  Chief Patrignani said, “The church provides people with a kind of a security blanket, a way to make them feel at home.”

Once again, the interagency cooperation exhibited by the program’s participants was nothing short of impressive.  “Our primary focus is to help people to clear up cases and move on with their lives,” said Philadelphia Municipal Court President Judge Louis J. Presenza.  “And it’s happening because they brought in seasoned district attorneys and public defenders who know how to dispose of them,” he added. “You can see the dedication on their faces.  They want this to work.”

Fugitive Safe Surrender-Philadelphia would not have been possible without the participation and support of  the Office of the Mayor of Philadelphia, the Office of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, the Clerk of Quarter Sessions, the Defender Association of Philadelphia, the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, the Kingdom Care Reentry Network, Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Philadelphia Managing Director’s Office, Philadelphia Police Department, Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office, Public Health Management Corporation, Town Watch Integrated Services, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Secret Service.

 

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