Local citizens may get up to $1,000 for tips that help police solve serious crimes in the District of Columbia as part of a "Crime Solvers" program announced yesterday by D.C. Police Chief Maurice Turner and Mayor Marion Barry.
Crime Solvers, a national program already begun locally in Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, pairs the efforts of local police with funds donated by civic and business organizations in an anonymous informant system that offers incentives for residents who speak out against crime. By dialing 393-2222, the police hotline, tipsters will be assigned indentification numbers and will not be required to leave their names, police said.
Persons giving information that leads to the arrest and indictment of a suspect stand to receive $100 to $1,000 in reward money.
At the core of the program is a "Crime of the Week," an unsolved case that may have police investigators stumped. A $1,000 reward will be offered for information on each of these and generally smaller amounts for help on other cases under investgation by D.C. police.
Washington's Crime Solvers Committee, headed by former D.C. Police Chief Maurice Cullinane, now an official of the D.C. Banker's Association, has collected $20,000 in donations from local bankers, grocery chains, fast food restaurants and other businesses and individuals, police said yesterday.
The money, and an additional $25,000 the committee expects to collect, Cullinane said, will be the source of rewards.
Mayor Barry pledged $500 from what he called his "Personal kitty" in hopes of "making our streets safe, our homes secure and our buisness protected."
The program was organized by D.C. police and the Crime Solvers Committee in cooperation with WJLA-TV (Channel 7) and The Washington Star, which have agreed to run regular news spots on the "Crime of the Week." WRC-TV (Channel 4), WTTG (Channel 5), WDVM-TV (Channel 9) and The Washington Post are not participating in the regular news spots.
Crime Solvers is part of a 13-point crime prevention program that Major Barry announced in February.
Similar programs in Montgomery, Prince George's and Fairfax counties have been successful, according to officials there. Information supplied through Crime Solvers in the three counties have led to a least 400 indictments and recovery of $632,000 since 1978, officials said.