Nashville Metro Police Department (MNPD) announced they would be offering a “Safe Surrender” event on December 10 and 11 for people with outstanding warrants to turn themselves in as “a special one-time opportunity toward a second chance.”
The MNPD said for those who are willing to take responsibility for their actions may attend the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church on 2021 Herman St. where they will be able to receive favorable consideration and could be able to go home the same day.
Alleged non-violent offenders will be able to speak to an attorney and present their case in front of a judge, either from the Criminal or General Sessions Courts. The MNPD listed the members of the justice system participating in Nashville Safe Surrender that would be attending. Some of those listed were District Attorney General Glenn Funk, General Sessions Judge Sam Coleman, Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn, and Public Defender Martesha Johnson.
In a video by the Metro Nashville Police Department, Police Chief John Drake said, “If you’re on the run because of a criminal warrant here in Nashville, you’ve put yourself and your loved ones under unneeded stress. Police officers are looking for you.”
He added if there is a person with a non-violent warrant, they may not have to go to jail. He said that if they were to attend the church during the Safe Surrender days, that their cases would either be resolved or in some cases dismissed.
“We ask that you come join us,” he said, “no tricks, no gimmicks, there will be pastors and community leaders here to greet you when you come. We look forward to seeing you.”
The news release from MNPD stated this would be a one-time initiative, and it is the product of weeks of planning that will essentially turn the church into a makeshift set of courtrooms and offices for the attorneys and clerks. Anyone turning themselves in will be processed with an on-site Sheriff’s Mobile Booking Unit before appearing in one of the makeshift courtrooms.
In 2015 Nashville held a Safe Surrender event where 86 out of 133 non-violent persons with warrants turned themselves in.
Reverend William Harris of Galilee Church, one of the community leaders who asked for a Nashville Safe Surrender program this year, said “I am proud to be able to extend a welcoming hand to persons coming to this church on December 10th and 11th who want to make life better for themselves and their families.”
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