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The Cleveland Fugitive Safe Surrender program receives the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Program Award on Friday in Columbus.

The program was created by U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott after a Cleveland police officer was killed by an individual being served an arrest warrant.

In the fall of 2010, FSS brought in a national record of 7,431 fugitives over a four day period at Mount Zion Church in Cleveland.

Since its inception, nearly 50,000 fugitives have surrendered in 25 cities across the country.

The goal of Fugitive Safe Surrender is to reduce the risk to law enforcement officers who pursue fugitives, to the neighborhoods in which they hide, and to the fugitives themselves.

Federal Public Defender Dennis Terez said, “I am pleased to nominate the FSS program for the prestigious OSBF award.  It is long overdue.  We in our community and in our state need to take the time to acquaint ourselves with this great program that has helped so many people.”

The FSS program uses churches and community centers as temporary courthouses where people with outstanding arrest warrants can turn themselves in by way of a non-threatening environment.

For thousands of fugitives who have no history of violence, FSS offers a unique opportunity to take their first and most crucial step toward community re-entry.

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