Crime Stoppers, ATF launch partnership to curb unlawful gun possession in Ky.

January 15, 2024by Naomi Cramer

By Christopher Leach
Lexington Herald-Chief

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Bluegrass crime Stoppers and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives introduced a singular partnership Wednesday, one which’s aimed in the direction of taking unlawful weapons off Lexington’s streets.

The partnership is the primary between a Crime Stoppers group and the ATF, a federal company. Each businesses are providing money payouts in alternate for info that results in an arrest and seizure of a firearm utilized in a crime, or the arrest of somebody in possession of a stolen gun. “For this program to achieve success, we want the group’s assist,” stated ATF particular agent in cost Shawn Morrow stated. “You’ll be able to contribute to public security by offering info.”

Bluegrass Crime Stoppers contributed $15,000 in the direction of the fund whereas the ATF contributed $10,000. Money payouts might be within the quantity of $2,000 to $1,000 from every company.

If the tip results in the seizure of a number of weapons, an additional $500 bonus might be hooked up.

“With this initiative, we perceive that to drive motion, we’ve acquired to do one thing slightly bit completely different, and that’s the place this initiative goes to do one thing slightly bit completely different,” stated David Ashford, chair of Bluegrass Crime Stoppers.

The concept for the partnership sprouted within the Spring of 2023 when officers noticed a Fb submit concerning the variety of weapons stolen from automobiles. Phrase of the Fb submit reached the Bluegrass Crime Stoppers’ board room, they usually volunteered to assist.

Morrow additionally volunteered to assist, and the entities agreed to the partnership aimed in the direction of getting unlawful weapons off the streets.

“Suggestions may help present essential info that may assist us resolve crime or stop them from occurring,” Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers stated. “I encourage everybody with info to tell us.”

Gun thefts in Lexington, Ky.

In 2023 there have been 475 studies of gun thefts, in accordance with Weathers. Over 86% of these studies have been gun thefts from automobiles.

Morrow stated these crimes instantly contribute in the direction of gun violence in the neighborhood.

“One thing so simple as eradicating a gun out of your automobile and locking it away — one thing so simple as that may save anyone’s life,” Weathers stated.

“They nearly all the time land within the palms of somebody who would do hurt, and we all know that, in order that’s why this initiative is sensible for our group, is sensible for our police division,” stated David Ashford, chair of Bluegrass Crime Stoppers.

Bluegrass Crime Stoppers: Suggestions assist stale instances

Within the final three years, tricks to Bluegrass Crime Stoppers have contributed to over 189 arrests, 18 of which have been homicides, in accordance with Ashford. Over 100 firearms have been recovered and $300,000 in unlawful money has been seized, all from ideas from the group.

Ashford stated it’s unimaginable how one little piece of knowledge could make a distinction in a stale case.

“The particular person thinks that this isn’t something important they usually resolve to share it, that may simply open the dam to extra info,” Ashford stated.

When an unlawful gun is taken by authorities, it’s analyzed to see if it’s been concerned in different crimes, in accordance with Morrow. That may result in different instances being solved.

“Collectively, that permits our ATF particular (federal) brokers and our police investigators to go examine these crimes and draw hyperlinks and higher determine people who find themselves utilizing weapons to harm the group,” Morrow stated.

Why is gun violence down in Lexington, Ky.?

Gun violence statistics have been down in 2023. Lexington reported 24 homicides in 2023, a lot decrease than the record-setting mark of 44 the yr prior. The final time Lexington reported 24 or fewer homicides in a yr was in 2018, in accordance with information from the Lexington Police Division, which dates again to 2008.

“There are a number of causes for the discount in gun crime, however none extra necessary than the large job that Chief Weathers and his staff have finished on specializing in violent offenders,” Morrow stated.

Morrow stated there’s nonetheless work to do in decreasing gun violence, and he hopes this new partnership helps in that class.

“As we flip the nook into 2024, one in every of ATF’s high priorities is specializing in the sources of crime weapons, and holding accountable those that would legally present firearms to criminals who use them to hurt our group,” Morrow stated.

Lexington police encourage folks with details about crimes to contact the division at 859-258-3600. Nameless ideas could be submitted to Bluegrass Crime Stoppers at 859-253-2020 or on-line on its web site.


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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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