RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox announced legislation to increase reward payouts in Virginia to $5,000.
Cox was joined by law enforcement on Saturday to carry to legislation during the 2020 General Assembly Session.
Crime Solvers reward funds are 100% raised by private donations, meaning taxpayer money is not used to pay out rewards. Currently, reward funds are capped at $1,000, as this is the maximum allowed by state law to be rewarded without the tipster having to pay taxes on the reward, protecting their identity.
The legislation will raise the non-taxable amount from $1,000 to $5,000.
“Local police and sheriff’s offices across the Commonwealth are looking for new tools to fight crime in our neighborhoods and this legislation will offer more incentive for those with important information to come forward,” Speaker Kirk Cox (R – Colonial Heights) said.
“From car break-ins to the most violent crimes, this legislation will allow law enforcement to close more cases and get those who wish to victimize Virginians off the streets.”
Since 1984, the Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Crime Solvers organization has received more than 26,000 tips, resulting in nearly 8,000 crimes solved. Crime Solvers is a 100% civilian administered program where law enforcement officers act solely in an advisory capacity.
“I can tell you first hand that Crime Solvers has been responsible for solving many crimes right here in Chesterfield County,” Chesterfield Sheriff Karl Leonard said. “By allowing for larger rewards to be offered this will only increase the amount of crimes that are solved and solved quickly.”
Even with this change in place, local programs would have the sole discretion of determining the low and high end of their rewards.
Some may choose to keep their $1,000 limit, others may choose to enhance rewards for certain crimes.