The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) called their Safe Surrender event a success after nearly 200 individuals turned themselves in at the Safe Surrender event Friday and Saturday. Officials called for individuals with outstanding warrants of all types to meet them at the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in order to speak with judges about their cases.
“Nashville Safe Surrender=SUCCESS!” The MNPD tweeted Saturday. “Today & Fri 193 persons came to Galilee Church to surrender on warrants or check their status.”
Nashville Safe Surrender=SUCCESS! Today & Fri 193 persons came to Galilee Church to surrender on warrants or check their status. 67 had warrants totaling 65 misdemeanor & 23 felony charges. 60 of the 67 were free to go after seeing a judge. Thank you pastors for this partnership! pic.twitter.com/93omjzytY1
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 11, 2021
Metro Police said that over the two days, 67 of those who turned themselves in had warrants; totaling 65 misdemeanors and 23 felony charges. Metro added that 60 of those with warrants were able to speak with the judges on-site and go home the same day. Warrants are able to carry multiple charges.
They said that during the first two hours of Friday’s event, 52 citizens had stopped at the church to either surrender themselves on their outstanding warrants or to check their status.
The Tennessee Star reported on MNPD’s announcement of Safe Surrender and explained how the program would work. Police Chief John Drake said that anyone with an outstanding warrant was welcome, “We ask that you come join us, 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 church was set up in a makeshift set of offices for attorneys and clerks, and anyone who turned themselves in would be processed with an on-site Sheriff’s Mobile Booking Unit before appearing in one of the makeshift courtrooms.
The MNPD said that in 2015, their Safe Surrender event resulted in 86 out of 133 non-violent persons with warrants turning themselves in.
Many citizens were excited about the outcome. Some thanked Metro for hosting the event and even asked for more Safe Surrender events in the future. One user tweeted, “I hope to see more of this in the future! Gives an opportunity for people to stop walking on eggshells and get right with the law. Hopefully we can see more rehabilative yet just opportunities in the future.”
Others who criticized the program were confused about how the event was different from normal procedure. One user explained the difference and said, “You have court that day and they take care of it right then.. huge difference. Go to police station and sit in jail for a month waiting on court. So this is the better option!”
Another user added that they thought having Pastors at the church would help those with warrants feel more comfortable turning themselves in. “This whole process has in mind that this is supposed to be a good thing for everyone.”
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