- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago’s FBI field office is participating in a trial reward program that is designed to deter people from pointing lasers at aircraft in flight.

The FBI announced Tuesday it will offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any person who aims a laser at a plane, which is a violation of federal law.

Such incidents have increased since the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration started tracking them in 2005. Last year, 3,960 laser strikes were reported.

Authorities say such strikes can temporarily blind a pilot, jeopardizing the safety of air passengers.

Other FBI field offices participating in the reward program are: Albuquerque, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Juan and Washington.

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