Public, Private Partnership to Pay Crime Witnesses for Cooperation

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines police and community leaders came together Monday morning to talk about ways to make an impact on violent crime – and the major way is a cash incentive.

At the press conference City Councilman Chris Coleman said private donors and Polk County have come together to donate nearly $50,000 that can be used at the police department’s discretion to help convince witnesses to talk.

Police say with the recent uptick in violence more and more witnesses are not cooperating with detectives.

The goal is to motivate the community to work with police officers and help bring more people to justice.

“We want there to be real rewards for people doing the right thing. We wish it didn’t require money but we want people to know that they are safe...safer with the police than taking the criminal’s side and we want them to know there is a reward and something good for them.”