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Sun Youth’s Reward Program: an Additional Tool for Police Investigators

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Sun Youth’s Reward Program – Sun Youth has been partnering with the police since its inception in 1954. Over the years, the organization developed multiple initiatives with police forces, starting with the Montreal Police Service (SPVM). One of these initiatives is Sun Youth’s Reward Program, through which anonymous donors provide sums of money in the hope of helping police forces solve cases of wanted criminals or missing persons. The program was created in 1991 following the brutal and unexplained murder of 82 year-old Ada Burns and one of Sun Youth’s donors wanting to help the police find her killer.

Since the beginning of the program almost three decades ago, 105 rewards have been offered through Sun Youth in partnership with various police corps, including the SPVM, the Sûreté du Québec, the Laval Police and the Longueuil Police. The reach of Sun Youth’s Reward Program goes even beyond the provincial boundaries, the organization having signed an agreement with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in 2014 to act as the manager of rewards for this police service. Since 1991, 27 cases in which rewards were offered were solved, which proves the usefulness of the program for investigators (a success rate of 26%).

While Sun Youth manages the money for these rewards, they are first requested and approved by the police force in charge of the investigation. They are offered for a limited period of time after which, as decided by the donor, they are renewed, or the funds given back to the donor or used in other crime prevention activities like in providing assistance to victims of criminal acts in particular.

In all cases Sun Youth is the sole manager of these rewards and acts as an intermediary between the anonymous donor and the police force in charge of each investigation. Investigators are the ones who decide whether it is appropriate or not to grant a reward as well as the amount to be paid.

At present time 12 reward offers are active with the latest one being released concerning the murder of Yves Cyr whose remains were found in June 2016 after having gone missing in December 2015 (see photo). 7 cases are or missing people and the remaining 5 concern wanted criminals.

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