BUFFALO, NY — Rewards are nothing new when it comes to ways to help solve crimes, but in the past week, two sizeable rewards were offered for help in solving two homicides in the city. Members of the community helped to raise the funds.

Buffalo Police said the people who contributed $12,500 of the $15,000 for information in the Lonnie Lard Anthony case did not want to be identified. Anthony was shot and killed while sitting in his car on Dodge Street back in April.

Buffalo Police gave $1,500, and Crimestoppers contributed $1,000.

Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen said fundraising like this is signaling a shift in how people are getting involved and trying to take back their neighborhoods.

"When you talk about somebody putting up over $10,000, to find the killer of a loved one, I think it shows a shift in the community in a positive direction," Pridgen said. "I also think when people make the decision to take someone's life, hopefully it'll make them think twice that this is not the right community to do it in because people are starting to come together."

People in the community also collected $5,000 of a $7,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the killing of Paul Byrd. He was shot and killed on Cornwall Avenue in Buffalo back in January.

Both Pridgen and police say they understand that a lot of people still have the fear of retaliation for coming forward with information on crimes.

They hope perhaps the reward offers that final push they need to tell police what they know.