ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s attorney general met with local law enforcement leaders on Wednesday to announce an increase in award money for anonymous tips in murder cases.
Speaking at the Orlando Police Department, Attorney General Ashley Moody said the state is boosting the maximum amount for information leading to an arrest from $5,000 to as much as $9,500.
“This is a way we are going to encourage better participation by our community members in ensuring that their communities are free from those that would seek to carry out violence,” Moody said.
Reward payouts are made through anonymous crime reporting organizations like Crimeline, which partners with local law enforcement agencies.
“This is significant. There are people who will tip just for the rewards,” Crimeline Executive Director Barb Bergin said. “What we hope is this will shed light on many of our unsolved cases and bring attention to these so that we can have some resolution.”
Law enforcement leaders who attended the announcement said the increase could have a big impact in unsolved homicide cases.
“Anytime that we can have an increase reward, is only going to increase the amount of tips that we receive,” Orange County Sheriff John Mina said. “There is no doubt in my mind that this increased reward will help keep our communities safe.”
According to the state, funding for the endeavor will come from money received from previous conviction offenses.
“Those who are committing crimes are helping us solve the crimes,” Moody said.
A timetable wasn’t announced for how long the change will be in place. Moody said it would remain for the foreseeable future, but may be reevaluated down the road based on available funds.
Anyone with information that can help law enforcement solve a crime is urged to call 1-800-423-TIPS (8477) or visit crimeline.org.