BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Local leaders came together and announced an initiative to raise community awareness of the increasing gun violence in Erie County.

As of this past Friday, 39 homicides and 122 non-fatal shootings have occurred in Buffalo in 2021.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz was joined by District Attorney John Flynn and members of local law enforcement agencies to announce a series of new billboards in a “Stop the Violence” campaign. It’s part of a partnership between the District Attorney’s office, the county, the Sheriff’s Office, Crime Stoppers, the City of Buffalo and the Erie County Chiefs of Police Association.

Tuesday morning, officials gathered on Genesee St. in Buffalo, in front of one of the 11 billboards. These billboards show people how they can anonymously provide tips on crime and be anonymously rewarded for doing so.

The following amounts can be rewarded for information on specific types of crimes:

  • Up to $7,500 – fatal shootings
  • Up to $5,000 – non-fatal shootings
  • Up to $1,000 – illegally possessed weapons

The program is being supported with $80,000 in county funding.

To provide a tip to Crime Stoppers, either use the Buffalo Tips app, or call (716) 867-6161.

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Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.