BALTIMORE – Baltimore City is on track to surpass 300 homicides for the seventh year in a row. By the end of the year, more than half of them may not be resolved.
âI’ve heard from many members of the police department and others, the bigger the reward, the more people call,â said City Councilor Yitzy Schleifer.
Schleifer believes that number could drop by increasing the rewards offered for information leading to the suspect’s arrest and conviction.
âThere’s nothing else that costs so little money that gives you such a great return on your investment,â he said.
He proposed legislation earlier this year to create a fund that would supplement the award money. There was a hearing on the proposal on Tuesday.
âMoney comes from all kinds of sources. For those sources of funding, you usually get foundations, companies, different sources of income, âhe said.
Last week, Governor Larry Hogan announced the state’s commitment to match the Crime Stoppers award as part of its âPolice Reimbursement Initiativeâ.
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If the city creates the fund, Schleifer said it could increase the reward to $ 10,000.
âAnd we know that when you see that $ 10,000 with all the extra zeros on a flyer, it gets people’s attention,â he said. “And the more attention we pay to these incidents, the more cases will be resolved.”
Schleifer said a 30,000 reward was crucial in finding the murder suspects of an Israeli gunned down in Baltimore earlier this year.
âWe need to make sure there is a fair rewards system across the city. That someone who is killed in West Baltimore has the same reward for their murderer’s conviction as someone in Northwest Baltimore, âhe said.
He said the fund would be a small price to pay for closing more families in Baltimore.
If the legislation is passed by city council, it will be put on the ballot for Baltimore voters to decide.