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ATF offers up thousands of dollars for tips on gun crimes in Baltimore

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Posted at 4:48 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 17:21:11-04

BALTIMORE — All the info you need, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms says, is on their new billboards around town.

The digital billboard campaign advertises the tip line 888-ATF-TIPS.

Federal and local law enforcement agencies are trying to target those they know are driving the violent crime rate by offering anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000 for tips leading to arrests.

“Specifically target the individuals that choose to arm themselves and walk the streets of Baltimore. Currently they walk the streets without fear of going to jail. We want to elicit the public's help to remove that level of comfort from them,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Robert Cekada.

Because right now, those committing gun crimes in the city are very comfortable.

Just last night in a three-minutes span there were four shootings around the city, and the Baltimore Police Commissioner hopes this show of unity between the feds and local authorities helps.

“This is an initiative to make sure we can get information about people who are carrying and using those guns so we can be more effective in targeting those individuals and going after those individuals,” Commissioner Harrison said. “It takes time, but we are unified in making sure that we are strong in our initiatives to target gun violence.”

And so, seven different billboards around town will spread that message for two weeks – twice during the summer of 2019.

One campaign is now surrounding the Memorial Day weekend — and then expect to see it again during the Fourth of July.

In so many cases police say an anonymous tip leads to an arrest, and they need the help of the public despite what has been a fractured relationship in the recent past.

“If we sit here and doubt each other from a distance, then we are never gonna get past the line that we would like to see to see a true benchmark of success in reducing violent crime,” Cekada said.”