RICHMOND, Va. -- The day Richmond Police launched its new illegal held gun initiative Gun 250, March 1, 2016, bullets flew in a gun battle in a Northside playground off 1st Ave. and Pollock. Three men were injured, with one sustaining life-threatening injuries. Two suspects have been arrested in this case.
Gun 250 is a reward program where neighbors can text info anonymously to help officers find and confiscate illegal-owned guns. You may be eligible for a $250 reward.
"Out of the 14 murders we've had this year- all but two involved weapons. The goal of Gun 250 is to get involved before the crime occurs, identify where the guns are and get them off the street," Richmond Police spokesperson Gene Lepley said.
The Richmond Police Department is now working to determine the best ways to spread the Gun 250 message around the city so resident can learn about the program.
"We are using social media to help before we can ramp up a budget to help in more traditional ways," he said.
Richmond Councilman Chis Hilbert said he believed the police department should be able to promote the program better than it is currently being promoted.
"Offering people $250 to call in tips about the illegal held gun. If we can afford that, we can have money to promote this program," he said.
Hilbert said if it meant informational flyers had to come out of his budget, so be it. He also said he was willing to deliver the message to his Northside constituents, many of them have already reached out to him questioning the violent crime.
"We have had a number of murders on the Northside and hopefully this program can help police confiscate as many illegal guns as they can," Hilbert added.
A week into the program, one Gun 250 tip is possibly going to help Richmond Police solve a recent robbery, according to Lepley.
If you know where illegal guns may be stashed and want them off of the streets you can participate in Gun 250 by texting 274-637 anonymously.