'Don't be afraid': Woman who went through Fugitive Safe Surrender encouraging othes to come forward

AKRON, Ohio - In 2007, Taye Davis, a member of The House of the Lord in Akron, volunteered at the Fugitive Safe Surrender program inside the church. She explained to others that they were doing the right thing by surrendering on active warrants.

Ironically, a year later, Davis had a misdemeanor warrant haunting her, but she ignored it for nearly a year because she feared turning herself in to police.

"To be honest, I was just afraid. I didn't know what was going to happen," Davis said.

MORE: How to use Safe Surrender

But in 2009, when FSS returned to her church, Davis worked up the courage to give herself up in the faith-based setting where she felt comfortable.

"I said, 'You know what, this is my church. I can do this.'"

In 2008, Davis got into trouble for allowing her 16-year-old daughter to drive without her license. The girl struck a tree in front of their Akron home. Davis was charged with wrongful entrustment and her license was suspended.

After failing to answer to the charge in court, a warrant was issued for Davis.

When she decided to get the situation resolved at Fugitive Safe Surrender, Davis felt relief and realized the process made her feel secure.

After registering, she met with officers and a judge. She got her license reinstated and caught a break with a lighter fine.

"They made it a point to say this is a lighter situation than if you would have kept going," Davis said.

FSS, operated through Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office, is returning to the church Wednesday through Saturday.

Davis, 49, is now encouraging those with non-violent felony or misdemeanor warrants in Summit County to take advantage of the program.

"Don't be afraid. This is a tremendous opportunity to get your legal situations taken care of."

Paster Herman Matherson expects between 1,000 and 2,000 people to surrender on warrants over the four-day event.

He understands that many people wanted by police are nervous, but said the integrity and credibility of the church will help get people through the door.

"While the authorities are looking over our shoulders, we're looking over theirs as well to make sure that what we say we're going to do is actually going to happen," Matherson said.

Fugitive Safe Surrender takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 25-28 at The House of the Lord Church located at 1650 Diagonal Road in Akron.

NewsChannel5 is a media partner for the event and will provide several stories over the coming days.

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