St. Petersburg police gun bounty yields results - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

St. Petersburg police gun bounty yields results

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A Gun Bounty project by St. Petersburg police brought in twice the number of firearms the department normally recovered in recent years during the same program.

The program began in 2009 as a way of getting firearms out of the hands of criminals. Police distributed flyers encouraging citizens to give officers information about illegal guns.

During the last 6 weeks, police also partnered with probation and parole officers and went along for home visits, looking for felons with illegal firearms.

Even during narcotics searches, police focused on guns. "We really talked and inquired about guns, who has guns, who needs guns, who is getting the guns, how do we get our hands on those. That turned out to be a successful effort," said St. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Harmon.

This year as part of the Gun Bounty program, the department seized 120 firearms, a large amount of illegal drugs, 4000 rounds of ammunition, and made 34 arrests.

Tipsters could receive $1000 for a gun, or $1500 for an assault weapon, if the information leads to an arrest.

Citizens were also encouraged to turn in unwanted guns to police on any Saturday in February. This was the least successful part of the program, yielding only 14 guns. Chief Harmon said in the future, the city may consider offering an incentive to get people to turn in guns.




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