Almost 4,000 people – more than authorities could process – turned themselves in during last week’s Fugitive Safe Surrender in Camden, N.J., reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. During the four days of the program, law enforcement agencies processed 2,245 people. In addition, 1,563 people were given vouchers and asked to appear at court dates next month because there was not enough time for authorities to hear their cases. “We were overwhelmed,” U.S. Marshal James Plousis said. The turnout was nearly triple what some agencies had expected and was the second-largest in the program’s history.
Camden is the 12th city to host a surrender program, aimed at giving nonviolent offenders a chance to confront unresolved legal issues. Only Detroit has had a bigger turnout. There were 8,000 to 10,000 outstanding warrants in Camden County before the program began. When all of those who surrendered are processed, authorities estimate that more than 6,000 of the warrants will have been cleared. Camden was the nation’s number two ranked crime city in the annual City Crime Rankings issued this week by CQ Press.