One addition to the budget talk today will be an item proposed by Commissioner Greg Lambert and Commissioner Lee Tramel. This is in response to the double murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.
Christian-Newsom Rapid Response Reward Fund
We propose that this Commission establish a reward fund in remembrance of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. This fund will be an account that the Sheriff and/or Police Chief can draw on quickly to offer Reward money when they believe that there is a possibilty of finding victims alive.
Rewards offered from this fund will have time limits. This fund will be to offer Reward Money in the crucial hours and days immediately after a crime when there is no time to raise traditional Reward money. After a period of time if the Reward money is not claimed these Reward Offerings will sunset. The fact that these Rewards sunset may also persuade witnesses to come forward quickly when the money is availed and when the victim has a better chance of being found alive.
If Law Enforcement had this tool when Channon Christians vehicle was first found officers could have gone door to door in the area offering the Reward and may have gotten a lead that may have changed the outcome. The time between when the vehicle was found and when fingerprint evidence (that took time to analyze) led them to the crime scene would have been when this type of Reward could have been useful. This fund would not be something that would work in every case but it would be a tool that would be available when needed.
We propose that we start this fund with $20,000.00 (enough for 4 $5,000.00 Rewards) and encourage our friends in the private sector to contribute as well.