Men and women in Davidson County wanted for non-violent crimes, including failure to appear in court, will soon be given a special one-time opportunity toward a second chance.
Nashville’s justice system, in partnership with area community leaders, is gearing up for a two-day Nashville Safe Surrender event to be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, December 10, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, 2021 Herman Street.
Non-violent persons who are ready to accept responsibility and come to the church on one of the two days will receive favorable consideration for surrendering and may well be able to go home on the same day. They will be able to speak with an attorney and appear before a judge, either from the Criminal or General Sessions Courts, at the church. There are no religious requirements.
“It is very important that everyone understands this is a genuinely special one-time opportunity for wanted persons to stop looking over their shoulders and clear up outstanding arrest warrants,” Chief John Drake said.
Persons with questions about their wanted status or who want more information about this program can call 615-256-SAFE.
“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,” said Reverend William Harris of Galilee Church, one of the community leaders who asked for a Nashville Safe Surrender program this year.
This one-time initiative is the product of weeks of planning that will ultimately turn the church into courtrooms and offices for attorneys and clerks. A number of community volunteers will be on hand both days. Persons surrendering will be processed using an on-site Sheriff’s Mobile Booking Unit before appearing in one of the makeshift courtrooms.
In addition to the MNPD, members of the justice system participating in Nashville Safe Surrender include District Attorney General Glenn Funk, Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier, Criminal Court Judge Angelita Dalton, Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn, Criminal Court Judge Mark Fishburn, Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins, General Sessions Judge Lynda Jones, General Sessions Judge Diane Turner, General Sessions Judge Ana Escobar, General Sessions Judge Sam Coleman, General Sessions Judge John Aaron Holt, Sheriff Daron Hall, Public Defender Martesha Johnson, and Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry.
Nashville hosted a two-day Safe Surrender event in September 2015, which saw a total of 86 persons come to Galilee Church to receive special consideration to begin resolving their outstanding criminal charges. Those 86 persons were named in a total of 133 outstanding warrants.
Nashville hosted a four-day Safe Surrender event in conjunction with a nationwide effort advocated by U.S. Marshal’s Service in August 2007, during which 561 persons peacefully and voluntarily surrendered themselves at Galilee Church.