Chicago police to offer bounty for crooks with guns
by FRANK MAIN Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org October 11, 2012 3:04PM
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced the results of a three-day crackdown on narcotics offenses that took place within 10 Districts across the south and west sides. Police displayed some of the more than 100 guns confiscated over the weekend. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times
Updated: November 13, 2012 6:27AM
Crooks could start ratting on other crooks anonymously for cash in a program the Chicago Police Department plans to launch in the next few months to take guns off the street.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said similar programs were in place when he was the police chief in Newark, N.J., and the head of operations for the New York Police Department.
“The result is that we got a lot of guns from people who were carrying guns illegally,” he said.
The program, called Gunstoppers, will allow people to make anonymous telephone calls to the police about people who have guns. The tipsters will receive a partial code from the police.
When officers recover a gun, the tipster can contact the police again anonymously to obtain the rest of the code, which can be used to obtain the reward at a bank, McCarthy said.
The New York Police Foundation launched a similar program in 2001, offering $1,000 rewards. The program has produced nearly 5,000 arrests, removed 2,700 guns from the street and led to $1.7 million in approved rewards, the foundation said.
McCarthy said he hopes to start a Gunstoppers program in several months but is still examining how much money will be given out.
“We are still exploring funding options,” said Melissa Stratton, a police spokeswoman.
The promise of a reward is tempting to people who might not otherwise cooperate with the cops, McCarthy said.
“People may not call 911, but they will call this hotline,” he said. “There are a ton of guns out there. Some of the best sources of information are criminals giving up other criminals because they know who are carrying guns.”
He stressed Gunstoppers will be different from the gun buy-backs the city has been doing for years. This summer, a Downstate pro-gun group tried to embarrass the city by turning in 60 guns and several BB guns. The group received more than $6,000 that was then used to pay for a National Rifle Association shooting camp for youths.
In that June buy-back, the city provided $100 gift cards for each gun turned in — no questions asked.
The city collected about 5,500 guns during the event.