CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- They say it's key to keeping you safe. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department is pushing to get illegal guns off the streets.
They’re going after convicted felons with firearms.
CMPD’s crime stopper officer Marty Cuthbertson is trying to get the bad guys off the street -- by working with the good guys.
He's telling people about a new tip line and a new push to get the community involved. Officers noticed a big increase over the last few years in the number of convicted felons being arrested with guns from 250 in 2009 to 319 in 2011.
“We’re trying to get as many of these guns off the streets as possible, we trying to curtail these robberies that we’re having, if we get some of these guns off the street, we’ll have less armed robberies,” Cuthbertson said.
So in May, CMPD launched the Firearm by Felon program encouraging people to anonymously tip off police -- and get cash in return.
“That all came from the community being involved, calling us and us working together,” Deputy Chief Vicki Foster said.
In just two months -- they've made seven arrests and 12 guns are off the streets.
Cuthbertson is pleased. “That means 12 guns that are not on the street; twelve guns not going to be used to threaten other people.”
Foster added, “When we have guns taken off the street and more felons taken off the street we look at that as being a way to keep our community safe. We’re removing the elements contributing to the crime.
Tipsters can get up to $500 for giving police information that helps get a gun-- or a suspect-- off the streets.
The number to call is 704-336-6000.