Ambitious campaign aims to get guns off street
April 18, 2006 (WLS) -- The Chicago Police Department is teaming up with church and business leaders to get guns off the street in a program that offers cash for weapons -- with no questions asked.
"We are never going to lower crime in this city while guns proliferate the streets," said Rev. Michael Pfleger, St. Sabina Church.
Rev. Pfleger and other religious leaders were joined by Police Supt. Phil Cline and the families of those killed in violence as the program, "Don't Kill a Dream, Save a Life," was unveiled in Englewood.
Slick posters advertise 23 different locations on the South, West and North sides where guns can be turned in. The message will be carried live April 29 on three radio stations, and big corporations like Jewel Osco and Chase Bank are putting up the cash to provide a $100 debit card for each gun turned in.
"It's a $100 card that a person can use if they want to purchase food or would like to get some clothing," said Vance Henry, CAPS program.
Previous gun buyback events in Chicago were held at only one or two locations in specific neighborhoods and offered less of a cash incentive.
On the 29th, Superintendent Cline promises not to arrest or investigate those who participate.
"The whole idea is turning in the guns -- no questions asked," Cline said.
The program was announced in Englewood, where last month stray bullets killed 10-year-old Siretha White and 14-year-old Starkesia Reed. White's mother spoke at the Tuesday news conference.
"We need to pull together focus. And, you know, come together, and let's turn in these guns," said Siretha Woods, victim's mother.
Officials hope to collect 500 guns on April 29. Similar programs in other cities have collected as many as 2,000 guns in one day, police said. Those guns are then destroyed
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