Editorial: Keep Fugitive Safe Surrender alive

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Editorial: Keep Fugitive Safe Surrender alive

Canton Repository – Five million dollars a year is a small price to pay to save the lives of law enforcement officers in Ohio and across the country.

It is welcome news that temporary funding has been found to keep the Fugitive Safe Surrender program alive in Cleveland. The program, which began there in 2005, is now active in 18 other U.S. cities, as well.

It allows fugitives accused of nonviolent crimes to turn themselves in at churches. The idea behind it was to avert the violence that can occur as police look for these fugitives.

Last fall in Cleveland, a record 7,431 people surrendered. More than 34,000 fugitives have surrendered nationwide. The number includes about 3,500 who were wanted for violent crimes.

But money for Fugitive Safe Surrender through the U.S Department of Justice had dried up, and its future has been looking bleak. Last week, however, developer Sam Miller donated $100,000 toward the program’s expenses in Cleveland. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has promised to keep it afloat.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has introduced a bill seeking $5 million a year for five years for the overall program.

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