Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Detroit police, Catholic archdiocese team up for gun buy-back event

The local Catholic Church and the Detroit Police Department are sponsoring a gun buy-back program next week in hopes of making a dent in a rash of shootings in the city, Archdiocese of Detroit and police officials said Wednesday.

The "no-questions asked" program will be held 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 30 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church on the city's west side, 10400 Stoepel St. near Livernois and Grand River.

Detroit Catholic Bishop Donald Hanchon, the regional bishop who oversees the Detroit parishes, said the church is hoping to help make a difference in the gun violence gripping the city.

"Night after night, we see news reports of another senseless act of violence," Hanchon said. "This is one way that we can take action to reduce the violent crimes and murders that have become like a plague in our community."

Hanchon will be joined by Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee at the event.

Those bringing in nonoperational weapons will be paid $25 per gun. 

Organizers also will pay $50 for operational guns and $100 for assault weapons.

As of Aug. 12, there had been 220 homicides in the city, compared with 221 the same period last year.

Similar gun buy-back programs have drawn a big response, with organizers running out of cash as a result of more guns being turned in than expected.

Also at the event, Detroit Police Department's Auto Theft Unit will offer residents free vehicle etching to help prevent auto theft.

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