Gun Violence in CU: For Crime Stoppers, Higher Bonuses Could Mean More Tips | News

A collection of firearms seized or recovered by the Urbana Police Department.

The idea came to Dawn Coyne Trimble after a presentation by the host agency at the September Crime Stoppers USA conference in Omaha, Neb.

It was there that Trimble and fellow Champaign County Crime Stoppers board members Troy Daniels and Geoff Coon first discovered the secret to Omaha’s success in helping take guns off the streets. , murderers prosecuted and justice for grieving families – increasing their rewards for anonymous counseling that leads to homicide. arrests at $ 25,000 per call.

“That night I called the mayor (of Champaign) (Deb) Feinen of Omaha and said, ‘We have to do this,’” Trimble said.

Well, not $ 25,000 per tip – “Omaha is the land of Warren Buffet,” Trimble said – but an increase enough to make officials optimistic it could help reduce the record level of gun violence in Champaign-Urbana.

The city of Champaign’s $ 6.2 million community gun violence reduction plan – which is expected to be approved by council members in January – includes $ 100,000 for Chess’s illegal guns reward program. crime.

An anonymous tip valued at $ 1,000 would now increase to $ 2,500 for information that leads to the arrest of a person who used a firearm in a crime or to $ 5,000 for a homicide.

The Crime Stoppers Gun Bounty Program has already made its mark, turning a $ 30,000 pledge from Champaign and the Community Coalition into advice that helped 42 arrests and the recovery of 55 guns. fire since 2019.

Mark M. Gagnon