The city of Des Moines is hoping a new, nearly $50,000 pot of money will convince reluctant witnesses to help police with unsolved homicides.
In the past two years a dozen of homicides remain unsolved, and this year the city is seeing a sharp increase in these crimes. Des Moines has recorded 15 homicides this year, and is on track to surpass 1978’s record of 27.
The cash comes from local businesses like Prairie Meadows Casino and Hotel, as well as the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Polk County Board of Supervisors.
DMPD Chief Dana Wingert says he's expecting that the additional financial incentives will bring good results.
"I know for a fact that there are people out there that have information on a lot of these crimes that we’re working on that for whatever reason have not come forward," he says. "Maybe a financial incentive is enough for that tipping point where they’ll decide, 'You know what. I’m going to do that right thing and come forward, and provide that information.'"
At this time last year, Des Moines had three homicides, and ended the year with 13.