MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Westchester County Crime Stoppers are seeking donations as they prepare to clean up the streets of Mount Vernon with a citywide, anonymous gun buyback.
The Crime Stoppers are teaming with the Mount Vernon police department and city officials to host the gun buyback, which will permit gun owners to anonymously exchange their firearms for hundreds of dollars in gift cards, no questions asked.
Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis was joined by Police Commissioner Terrance Raynor, Deputy Commissioners Richard Burke, Reginald Ward and Gaylord Worrell and Crime Stoppers Chair Derickson Lawrence to announce the gun buyback to the public last week.
“We’ve been working hard to improve the quality of life for residents in Mount Vernon,” Davis said when announcing the initiative. “This gun buyback will hopefully help us get some weapons off our streets.”
Only operational guns can be redeemed, and they will be tested on site. Handguns will merit $200 each, rifles and shotguns will net $100 apiece, while assault rifles are worth $500. High-capacity magazines can be returned for $20 each, with a maximum buyback of $500.
“This program can certainly help us in our crime-fighting efforts,” Raynor added. “The more guns we get off the streets, the more lives we can possibly save.”
Lawrence noted part of the Crime Stoppers’ mission was to help local communities create cohesion between the police and the people they are tasked with protecting. He added that the buyback was just part of a much larger mission of the organization.
“At a time where we see visible rifts between police and the community in pockets across our nation, on behalf of the Westchester County Crime Stoppers Organization, it is a privilege to attempt to engage the community and police to come together, to work together and to mitigate crime,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence praised Davis for standing resolute and supporting the buyback at the announcement Thursday, a day before he would be sentenced to one year of probation and fined $10,000 in federal court for misdemeanor tax evasion charges.
“You could see that much was weighing on him, and although there was much weighing on his shoulders, he put his personal issues aside for the city,” he said. “Most people wouldn’t even go out in public, but he stood forward and really showed his character. It was incredibly admirable.”
The buyback will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 11 at the Doles Community Center. Those looking to support the “Turn in a Gun; Get Paid; Save Lives” initiative can send donations to the Westchester County Crime Stoppers, PO Box 243, Bronxville N.Y. 10743.
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