Detroit police unveil TV show on city's unsolved crimes, cash rewards for tips
Detroit — The Detroit Police Department launched a website Wednesday featuring a television show that will give residents the opportunity to learn about unsolved crimes and earn cash rewards for actionable tips.
Detroit Rewards TV, which went live Wednesday, is offered in partnership with Crime Stoppers of Michigan and will be hosted by Detroit journalist Andrea Isom. It will feature family members of victims, detective interviews and other exclusive information to aid in solving cases, officials said.
Detroit Police Chief James White said the partnership is an important tool for the community and police.
"Crime is unacceptable and we cannot create an environment where we are desensitized to crime," White said during an afternoon news conference at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters downtown. "This is just another tool in our partnership with our community to ensure that we have a safer community."
The city granted Crime Stoppers $20,000 to pay out the rewards through the partnership program, said Ruby Harper, 2nd deputy chief for media relations.
All tips will remain anonymous and cash rewards, ranging from $250 to $1,000, will be granted for tips that move investigations forward, officials said.
President and CEO of Crime Stoppers Dan DiBardino urged Detroit residents to take part and assured them their privacy will be protected.
"I can promise you, as president of Crime Stoppers, three things," DiBardino said. "A, your information will go to the right investigator to make sure that an action is taken. Two, that you will always remain anonymous. And three, as part of this program, if your tip moves the case forward you will be paid for your time and for your efforts."
DiBardino said over the past 28 years, the organization has taken in over 87,000 anonymous tips.
Detroit minister and community advocate Maurice Hardwick, known as "Pastor Mo," said Wednesday that he backs the project and told residents the old rule of "no snitching" does not apply in this context.
"We're talking about being productive citizens, protecting our life, our possessions and our peace," he said. "We have a right to that."
Isom said the website will air new episodes each week, providing opportunities for those with information to learn more about the crime and to place their tips.
White said detectives are "encouraged and excited" about the project and hope it will help the department in solving several cold cases.
"Our community deserves to not worry constantly about their personal safety," White added. "For those who live, work and play in this great city this tool will help us."
The Detroit Rewards TV website can be found at detroitrewards.tv.
To reach the Crime Stoppers hotline dial 1-800 SPEAK UP.