(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) -- Officials are considering a reward program to help police solve crimes that would otherwise remain a mystery.
The Riverside Reward Program would offer cash to citizens who come forward with information that would lead to the arrest of suspects in cases the city's police are investigating.
Police Chief Russ Leach told the council Tuesday that most cases are solved with help from the public, and it is rare that a case is solved by police alone.
The council voted 6-0 to send the proposal to the Public Safety Committee for review. It will come back to council within two months.
The proposed reward program was spawned by Peggy Haro, the sister of a man killed in the Casa Blanca neighborhood last year. Haro suggested creating a reward program during a community meeting in that neighborhood.
There have been 16 homicides in Riverside this year, including four that are unsolved, Leach said. Last year, the city reported 19 homicides.
Councilwoman Maureen Kane and a Riverside police officer researched the proposed reward program and talked to Los Angeles police about a program in their city.
"We got to hear the dos and don'ts from (the Los Angeles Police Department)" she said. "They have cases where the reward makes a difference."
Kane said the reward amount would be determined by the Police Department.
Haro has raised $2,775 in reward money by selling burritos and
tacos in the hope that a witness to her brother's slaying will
"I grew up in Casa Blanca," she said. "There have been so many murders...I believe (rewards) will really help."
(iSyndicate; The Press-Enterprise; Nov. 22, 2000 (c) Terms and Conditions: Copyright( 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.