Reward grows to $20k for bomb-threat tips

ALBANY -- New York will increase the reward to $20,000 for tips that lead to convictions for hate crimes.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday the reward would increase from $5,000 to $20,000 after the number of anti-Semitic bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers and other institutions continues to persist.

JCCs across the state, including in Westchester County, Rochester and Buffalo, were subject to bomb threats in recent weeks, and bomb threats struck the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, the Anti-Defamation League in Manhattan and a Jewish senior center in Brooklyn.

"We have zero tolerance for intolerance, and I encourage all New Yorkers to report any instance of hate, bias or discrimination," Cuomo said in a statement.

Hate-crime incidents in New York have surged this year, including more than 100 in the city – more than double amount during the same period last year.

Outside the city, incidents last November and December also doubled compared to the same period in 2015, state officials said.

To report a hate crime, call the state's toll-free hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or text "HATE" to 81336. City residents can call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

The announcement from Cuomo and de Blasio -- a rare one for the political foes -- came the morning of a front page New York Post article claiming the two leaders sought to outdo one another by visiting the Jewish Children's Museum in Brooklyn on Thursday.

In a statement on the increased reward, de Blasio said, "I'm proud to join forces with the governor as we work with our local, state and federal partners in law enforcement to see that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice."

Cuomo formed a State Police task force to help investigate the hate crimes and proposed a $25 million grant program to boost security at religious institutions.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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