Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmond raises top reward for tips on illegal guns to $1K

- BY ALI ROCKETT arockett@timesdispa­ (804) 649-6527 Twitter: @AliRockett­RTD

Richmond police and Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers announced Thursday an increased maximum reward of $1,000 for tips that lead to the seizure of illegally-held weapons or an arrest.

Chief Gerald Smith and Mayor Levar Stoney said they hoped the injection of funds into the GUN250 program would increase participat­ion. The program is pronounced “gun two-five-oh” and is so named because the reward when it began in 2016 under former Chief

Alfred Durham was just $250. Its aim is to keep guns out of the hands of those who might cause harm or those too young to have them, and ultimately decrease violence.

“These programs don’t work without the community,” Stoney said during a brief press conference held virtually over Zoom. “A thousand dollars will hopefully motivate people to do what is right.”

Since its inception, the GUN250 program has doled out $600 for tips, while 191 guns have been seized.

Smith said Thursday he hopes to triple or quadruple those figures in the coming year.

“If we decrease the firearms available to violent offenders and those too young to legally acquire them, then we can decrease violent crime in our city,” Smith said. “We want to continue to work with members of our community and reward them for their efforts in helping us keep Richmonder­s safe.”

Tips may be offered anonymousl­y by using the P3 Tips applicatio­n or by calling Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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