State pro-gun organizations including SCOPE and NYRSA report that the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services has sent this letter to police agencies as originally reported by our friends at NYSRPA.
The letter reads:
At a time when all of us are finding ourselves doing more with less, a reminder about a resource available from New York State that can assist you in your efforts to solve cases, prevent crime and better serve and protect your communities.
The state has established a toll-free tip line – 1-855-GUNSNYS (1-855- 486-7697) to encourage residents to report illegal firearm possession. The tip line also allows for information to be submitted via text – individuals can text GUNTIP and their message to CRIMES (274637). While the state will provide the administrative support and fund the rewards, the investigation and validity of the tip will be up to each local department.
To spread the word about this free resource, New York State is planning a comprehensive campaign, including public service announcements that will air on television and radio stations across Upstate.
The tip line can provide your agencies with another avenue for receiving intelligence about crimes being committed in your jurisdictions. This initiative is designed for communities where no tip lines are in place and is not meant to replace existing gun tip lines.
Here’s how the tip line operates:
The New York State Police staff the tip line 24 hours a day. Upon receiving a call, troopers will solicit as much information as possible regarding a firearm tip, while allowing the individual to remain anonymous. The caller will be informed that this program is not the traditional gun buyback program but rather is focused on identifying individuals who are carrying an illegal firearm.
The State Police will in turn contact the appropriate police agency with the lead to initiate an investigation. Staff from the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) will follow up with that agency to determine the validity of the lead. Once the investigation is completed, the police agency would convey to DCJS the outcome of the investigation.
If the information leads to an arrest for the illegal possession of a firearm, the “tipster” will be awarded $500. DCJS staff will handle all of the financial transactions.
State Police staff will explain the program in its entirety upon notifying an agency that a lead has been generated for their jurisdiction. If you have any questions in the interim, please contact DCJS Deputy Commissioner Tony Perez in the Office of Public Safety at 518-485-7610.