Chicago mayor offers million-dollar rewards for illegal gun tips

By Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune

Chicago, Illinois - Acknowledging that Chicago residents are "scared" because of high crime, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday the city is working on a $1 million reward program for people who report illegal guns.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is having a tough time managing the surge in gun violence.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is having a tough time managing the surge in gun violence.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Lightfoot unveiled the plan at an unrelated news conference, where she said the Chicago Police Department has taken more than 6,000 guns off the street this year.

To address the problem, Lightfoot said she will create a $1 million program through the police department’s tip line, though she said officials are still working through the details about when it will be active and how much the individual amounts will be.

In her prepared remarks, Lightfoot said gun violence is the city’s number one issue right now and sought to reassure residents that she is thinking about the problem constantly.

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"I want you to know that I recognize that people are scared. People all over the city. This is the topic of conversation," Lightfoot said. "Gun violence is holding us back from realizing our individual potential and our potential and greatness as a city."

Chicago, she said, is under a "cloud of violence that hangs over our heads and blocks out all of the sunshine that we should be feeling having come through a difficult, dark period."

Too many people, especially on the South and West sides, "are just plain scared," Lightfoot said, "scared to come out, scared to congregate, enjoy the warmth of a summer day or night for fear that ordinary moments will become the scenes of tragedy. This reality is what pains me personally the most."

Still, Lightfoot believes Chicago is seeing progress in fighting crime, though the city has recorded more shootings in 2021 than 2020.

Gun control and has been at the forefront of issues Joe Biden has tried to combat during the start of his administration. The president met with national leaders on issues of gun violence on Monday.

Mass shootings and violent crime have surged in recent months, leading some states to issue a disaster emergency order on the issue.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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