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HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A new High Point Crime Stoppers program will target felons carrying illegal guns in the city.

The agency launched its Firearm by Felon program Tuesday. Anyone who reports information leading to an arrest of a felon in possession of a gun could earn $500.

“I think the community wants to be in a safer place. They want to see their kids be able to play in the streets. They want to be able to see all those things,” said Crime Stoppers Coordinator Amy Southards.

She explained the program is a proactive step toward reducing violence in the community.

“We’ve definitely received tips on people with guns that they shouldn’t have, and this is kind of a way to formalize that and make it a little more focused,” Southards said Tuesday.

She explained the focused effort is based on a successful program through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Greensboro Crime Stoppers also launched a similar program in 2017.

So far this year, 11 valid tips have led to arrests in Greensboro. Officers confiscated 26 guns.

In 2021, there were 16 valid tips and 34 seized guns.

“One of the most important steps we took was to make sure that we had officers or investigators available to answer these tips when they come in, so we’ve taken steps to make sure they can be answered in a timely manner,” Southards said.

She said the program is not a response to recent violence and shootings across the country but added timing is important.

“Summer is starting. Crime sometimes goes up in the summer, and this is a good way for us to support the police department during this time,” she said.

The goal is to turn information into action.

“With people in the neighborhood, I always say, ‘I work from 8-5. I don’t live where you live. You’re there 24/7, and Crime Stoppers is a way for you to be the eyes and ears, and I can be your voice,’” Southards said.

You can make a tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (336) 889-4000 or downloading the P3 Tips Mobile App.

The agency will not ask for your name or other identifying information. They will assign you a number when you call to keep a record of your tip.