Fla. church encourages fugitives to surrender

Published On: Nov 12 2012 11:54:00 AM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -

A central Florida church is encouraging fugitives to turn themselves in this week.

Greater Friendship Baptist Church in Daytona Beach is hosting Operation Safe Surrender on Tuesday. Church officials say the event is an alternative to police coming to the door unexpectedly.

Those who surrender will have a first appearance hearing at the church via closed circuit TV before a county judge. The public defender's office will also have 10 attorneys present.

The Daytona Beach News Journal reports that clergy will also be available for spiritual counseling.

This is the third time the church has partnered with law enforcement and the courts to hold the event.

Officials also reminded suspects who have been charged with non-violent felonies or misdemeanors that surrendering could lead to dropped or reduced charged.