CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Crime Stoppers established a dedicated hotline this week specifically for tips related to crime guns: 216-241-TIPS. Tips can remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $250, for a tip that leads to an arrest or indictment.
"Tips that involve in addition charges may lead to a total reward of up to $2,500. We want to get these guns off of our streets and prevent those using illegal guns from using them again," said County Executive Armond Budish.
On Tuesday, the Cuyahoga County executive, along with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office and Cuyahoga County Crime Stoppers, announced the new joint initiative. The goal of the Crime Gun Initiative is to remove firearms from communities that have been illegally possessed and used to commit a crime.
"We are witnessing an explosion of violent crime, and we are offering a program to help stop the killing," said Budish. "There is no one, simple solution. This is a complex issue that needs to be attacked with urgency and vigilance, and we hope this program provides the motivation to get people from every aspect of our society involved, so we can, together, work to make our streets safer."
Officials want to remind you, this is not a replacement for 911 and the hotline should not be used to report crimes in progress or emergency situations.
"It's important that we find new strategies in eliminating crime guns from our neighborhoods. As we continue to collaborate between federal and local resources, our most important resource is you," said Dr. Rustom Khouri, president of the Crime Stoppers board of directors. "An initiative like this cannot succeed without the support from our residents. If you know or suspect that a crime gun has been illegally possessed and used in a crime, do the right thing and let Crime Stoppers know."
Crime Stoppers operates as an independent organization, dedicated to providing local law enforcement with information about crimes and criminals. Reward money paid by the program is raised through fundraising and private donations.