Miami-Dade County, Fl., is starting a gun-bounty program that promises $1,000 to anyone who provides a tip that leads to an illegal gun seizure, but with a twist: The program is directed at those leaving jail, says the Miami Herald. “We are attempting to get guns off the streets by marketing to the very individuals who know exactly where illegal guns are,” said Mayor Carlos Alvarez said. Anyone aware of someone who illegally possesses a firearm calls Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers. If an arrest is made — and that person has illegal possession of a weapon — the $1,000 is yours. ”One gun, one body, one arrest, one grand,” is how Miami-Dade County Maj. Jim DiBernardo sees it.
An average of 308 inmates are released from county jails every day. Each will get a phony $1,000 bill, ”a stack” as it’s called by inmates. The back, in both English and Spanish, advertises the cash reward for information leading to an arrest for the illegal possession of a firearm. The police department has $100,000 from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, an account created through the seizure of money and property. Asked where additional money would come from, DiBernardo called that a ”good problem,” that will be dealt with later. Miami Chief John Timoney signed off on the plan, but noted that paid snitches are often unreliable. ”They’ll set their friends up, they’ll lie to you all the time,” he said. Defense attorney Phil Reizenstein said the end sounds good, but the means seem a little scary. ”It’s going to turn us into a city of snitches. It’s got some George Orwellian 1984 overtones,” he said. So far this year, 84 homicides have been attributed to firearms, up from 71 last year.