CHICAGO — A South Side alderman who proposed that business owners supply cash to a $1 million crime tip reward fund now says the program is "on hold."
Ald. James Balcer (11th) said his proposal, introduced at last month's City Council meeting, will take a back seat to a similar program expected to be announced by the Chicago Police Department in the coming weeks.
A message to the department's spokesperson was not immediately returned.
Balcer, who heads the city’s public safety committee, introduced a resolution asking the city business leaders to create a crime-tip reward fund totaling at least $1 million.
The resolution called for the city’s business community to administer the fund and, with the help of police, determine the types of crimes covered and establish criteria for payments.
Establishing the fund would send “a strong message to perpetrators of crimes that our communities have the initiative, money and resources to fight back,” the resolution said.
Last month, the Cook County Sheriff's Office debuted the iWatch app, which allows users to contribute anonymous tips via smartphone.
That's in addition to another tip line by Cook County CrimeStoppers, a hotline offering tipsters anonymity. Similar to the city's proposal, the hotline offers cash rewards funded by private donations.