- The Washington Times - Friday, July 25, 2003

Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey announced yesterday that the District will increase to $25,000 the reward it gives people who provide police with information that leads to convictions in homicide cases.

The city is boosting the reward from $10,000 in hopes that more people will come forward to tip off police, he said. Police will cover the additional costs with the money and goods, such as cars or houses, they seize from criminals who obtained them as a result of illegal activities.

“I think our own experience shows that when you have a case where a sizable reward is offered, people do come forward,” Chief Ramsey said during a press conference at police headquarters in Northwest yesterday.

“I can’t guarantee it, but there’s certainly reason to try,” he said.

Police have given out four $10,000 rewards since the department initiated the program about two years ago, Chief Ramsey said.

With the number of homicides up by nine from this time last year, police are looking for ways to make sure perpetrators are brought to justice.

There have been 141 homicides so far this year, compared with 132 this time last year. Two hundred sixty-two persons were killed in the District in all of 2002. People who provide police with information leading to the arrests and convictions of killers will be the beneficiaries of the reward.

Chief Ramsey said he hopes the larger reward will entice people who otherwise wouldn’t speak up for fear of retaliation. But he said he recognizes that “you’ll have some people that, no matter what you offer, won’t come forward.”

Mayor Anthony A. Williams was not at the press conference, but has given his approval of the enhanced reward for any unsolved homicides.

“We must all work together in combating crime and enhancing the safety of our neighborhoods, and citizen involvement is a critical part of that,” Mr. Williams said in a written statement.

Citing the unsolved slayings of three employees at Colonel Brooks Tavern in Northeast on April 6, officials said that if someone comes forward with information in that case leading to a conviction, the reward would be $75,000.

“This certainly puts it back on the front burner in terms of attention,” Chief Ramsey said.

D.C. officials would pay the reward to one person or divide it among a group of people who provide vital information. The superintendent of detectives determines who is eligible for the reward and how it would be divided.

Police ask that people with information on homicides call the department at 202/727-9099.

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