Fugitive Safe Surrender

Learn about Fugitive Safe Surrender with Delco Bail Bonds. Discover how the program provides safe and legal resolutions. Read more! 
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Fugitive Safe Surrender (FSS) Program

If you are wanted for a non-violent felony, running may be tempting; however, you may then realize you have little choice but to keep running. Or worse, get into a violent confrontation with police. In 2000, during a routine traffic stop, Cleveland Police Officer Wayne Leon was shot by a driver who had an open warrant and was afraid of going back to prison.

That tragedy triggered the Fugitive Safe Surrender (FSS) Program. At Delco Bail Bonds, we want to ensure that people who initially faced a short sentence don’t add worse crimes to their docket. We want everyone to find a safe and legal resolution to their legal problems.

History of the Program

Again, FSS was envisioned in the wake of Officer Leon's death as a way to ensure safe interactions between law enforcement and people with open warrants. The concept was simple...allow people to turn themselves in in a neutral, safe location. Officer Leon is not alone. For example, here in Pennsylvania, Joseph LeClair was killed while trying to arrest a fugitive.

Initially, the vision was that this location would be a church. Historically, the church has long provided this service in Europe, offering sanctuary to pursue fugitives and assistance in negotiating with the authorities. However, other neutral locations have been used. FSS events, which are time-limited, are run by the U.S. Marshalls in conjunction with local law enforcement and clergy or others running the "sanctuary" areas.

The program motivates people to turn themselves in by adjudicating cases in this community-based setting and giving them favorable consideration for coming forward. The process is much safer for everyone concerned.

It protects police officers and the general public (in fact, the majority of police officers killed in the line of duty are attempting to execute a warrant after a routine traffic stop), and potentially saves the entire system time, effort, and money.


An active arrest warrant can impact your life in multiple ways. From restricting travel and movement to living in fear of getting arrested at any time, even with family present, it's easy to see why an open warrant can negatively impact your life. In addition, it becomes harder to get legitimate employment and obtain a driver's license.

All these factors could force individuals with active warrants to engage in criminal activities. But by taking advantage of the safe surrender law, wanted offenders can have a chance to start over. Once your case is addressed, you can reenter the community and enjoy life as a free individual without the constant fear of arrest.

The safe surrender program also benefits law enforcement agencies and the justice system. The initiative reduces the risk of violent confrontations between authorities and wanted individuals, thus ensuring the safety of law enforcement officers, wanted individuals, and the community. As more individuals participate in the FSS program, the number of open warrants will reduce, reducing the burden on the justice system.

Wanted on Warrant: Why Surrender

Why surrender, though? There's always a risk that you will end up going to jail - or back to jail.

First of all, outstanding warrants are adjudicated through the program. Depending on the circumstances, you may experience a lesser sentence or commutation to community service, especially if you demonstrate that you haven't endangered anyone. You will get a more favorable result than if the police have to drag you into a courtroom.

You may think you won't do anything if the cops catch up with you, but the person who shot Officer Leon probably thought that, too. Many people panic when they see the police and know that the cops have a line on them. This can lead to consequences including more significant charges, driving off the road, hurting yourself while running from the cops, and potentially endangering others.

Third, life with an open warrant can be extremely stressful and limited. You might avoid important life events out of fear of running into law enforcement and being recognized. You may not be able to return to your home or your friends, knowing that the cops know your movements.

Many people don't show up for their court date and don't realize that being wanted is worse than legally resolving your problems. The FSS allows you a second chance to do so, letting you fix things in a safe and legal environment and one in which many people feel comfortable.

Making the Decision to Surrender: How Delco Bail Bonds Can Help

Surrendering can be scary because you don't know what might happen. It’s vital to have somebody help guide you through the process and vouch on your behalf. As experienced bail bondsmen, we help our clients afford bail, refer people to lawyers, and help you get through the process with your dignity intact.

Contact us to learn how we can help you safely turn yourself in and start a new life today.

Image Credit: Motortion Films / Shutterstock
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