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Cleveland City Council, Working to Reduce Violent Crime, Hosts United States Marshals Services Director Ronald L. Davis at Roundtable Discussion

Jan 19, 2023

Cleveland City Council welcomed United States Marshals Services (USMS) Director Ronald L. Davis, representatives from the USMS – Northern District of Ohio, United States Attorney – Northern District of Ohio, Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court, and local clergy for a round table discussion focused on reducing violent crime. Council President Blaine A. Griffin worked closely with Director Davis, the USMS - Northern District of Ohio, and local partners to make the visit a reality.


Those in attendance included: Director Davis, Marshal Peter Elliot and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Brian Fitzgibbon (USMS – Northern District of Ohio), Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle Baeppler, Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan J. Sheehan, and Mt. Sinai-Friendship United Pastor, Rev. Dr. C. Jay Matthews.


USMS Director Ronald L. Davis shared the Marshals are here to assist local government in any way they can, whether it be through traditional or innovative partnerships. He is a former police chief, and Director of the Community Oriented Police Services(COPS) program under former President Barack Obama. He possesses grassroots understanding of violence prevention and is uniquely aware of the pressures local governments and law enforcement agencies endure. He thanked Council for hosting today’s roundtable discussion. 


USMS - Northern Ohio District Marshal Peter Elliott has served locally in law enforcement for nearly forty years, including twenty years as the Marshal for the USMS - Northern District of Ohio. Marshal Elliott expressed gratitude for the work and partnerships of the Cleveland Division of Police and highlighted partnerships with Cleveland City Council, the Acting US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and local clergy members.


Marshal Elliot provided an example of what the partnerships have accomplished. Working with the Cleveland Division of Police, the USMS arrested seventy-two homicide suspects in Cleveland in 2022. 


The Cleveland Division of Police is at the forefront of fighting crime in the city, with oversight and support by Cleveland City Council. 


Councilman Michael D. Polensek – who also serves as the Chair of Council’s Safety Committee – thanked leaders for meeting with Council and praised Marshal Elliott and his team for their work in the city. Councilman Polensek stated, “When we have the worst of the worst with violent offenders on the street, we don’t call Ghostbusters. We call US Marshal Pete Elliot. He goes after the worst of the worst and helps us fight crime here in the city.”


Rev. Dr. C. Jay Matthews discussed the impact of Fugitive Safe Surrender (FSS), an initiative that he helped create in 2005. Rev. Matthews stated FSS “focuses on officer safety, community safety, and gives individuals with warrants the opportunity to turn themselves in. With every fugitive who turns themselves in, we preserve life.” 


After its start here in Cleveland, FSS expanded to become a national initiative and is responsible for the surrender of 75,000 fugitives to date. Locally, Fugitive Safe Surrender is operating a hotline during the months of January and February. The Hotline, in partnership with the United Pastors in Mission, a local clergy organization, is open for persons with active felony warrants in Cuyahoga County who want to make arrangements to surrender and deal with their outstanding warrants peacefully. The Hotline number is 877-FSS-USMS.


Cleveland is the third stop on Director Davis’s ten-city tour to discuss partnerships with local cities. His next stop will take him to Columbus.


Click here to watch a recording of the roundtable discussion.