Students rewarded $1,000 for tips about guns in schools

MIAMI -- The Miami-Dade Police Department is marketing a new campaign designed by the very students it is trying to protect.

It's called How To Get A Grand, and it works a lot like the Gun Bounty program.

"We went to the high schools, we went to the honor societies, we talked to the good kids. We wanted to know: How we can make you feel safe?" said Sgt. Gloria Packingham, of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

If a student finds out about a gun on campus they anonymously text their tip to 274637 or they can call 1-866-471-TIPS (8477). The reward is $1,000.

The campaign was inspired by several events, one of which happened on March 17, 2010, when Josie Lou Ratley, 15, a middle school student, was beaten nearly to death. Others include the fatal stabbing of Juan Carlos Rivera, 17, at Coral Gables Senior High School in September 2009 and the November 2008 fatal shooting of Amanda Collette, 15, at Dillard High School.

"I'm very passionate about this," Packingham said. "If we're able to remove the guns out of schools, I think we can prevent tragedy."

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