Acknowledging that Chicago residents are “scared” because of high crime, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday the city is working on a $1 million reward program for people who report illegal guns.
Lightfoot unveiled the plan at an unrelated news conference where she said the Chicago Police Department has taken more than 6,000 guns off the street this year.
To address the problem, Lightfoot said, she will create a $1 million program through the police department’s tip line, though she said officials are still working through the details about when it’ll be active and how much the individual amounts are will be worked out.
In her prepared remarks, Lightfoot said gun violence is the city’s No.-1 issue right now and sought to reassure residents that she is thinking about the problem all day.
“I want you to know that I recognize that people are scared. People all over the city. This is the topic of conversation,” Lightfoot said. “Gun violence is holding us back from realizing our individual potential and our potential and greatness as a city.”
Chicago is under a “cloud of violence that hangs over our heads and blocks out all of the sunshine that we should be feeling having come through a difficult, dark period.”
Too many people, especially on the South and West sides, “are just plain scared,” Lightfoot said, “scared to come out, scared to congregate, enjoy the warmth of a summer day or night for fear that ordinary moments will become the scenes of tragedy. This reality is what pains me personally the most.”
Still, Lightfoot said Chicago is seeing progress in fighting crime, though the city has recorded more shootings in 2021 than 2020.