Rewards for unsolved cases

If you are a law enforcement officer who needs tips to solve a crime, there’s a program that can help. The Governor’s Reward Program for Unsolved Crimes offers rewards for tips that lead to arrest and conviction.

About the program

The California Legislature established this program under Penal Code section 1547. It authorizes the Governor to offer a reward of: 

  • Up to $50,000 for tips leading to the arrest and conviction for unsolved crimes
  • Up to $100,000 for tips about crimes against first responders or arson in a place of worship. 

The Governor may issue the reward only if recommended by a law enforcement official.

How to request an offer of reward

The chief law enforcement official in charge of the matter should write a request. 

In your request, you must:

  • Describe the crime, including:
    • the date, 
    • investigative efforts to-date, 
    • the suspected number of perpetrators, and 
    • the victims
  • Give the reasons you believe the crime qualifies for a reward under Penal Code section 1547. You must cite the statute. 
  • Explain how a reward may be helpful in bringing the perpetrators to justice. In other words, show a connection between the need for a reward and the solvability of the case.
  • State the position of the victims or family of the victims on the reward request. If you cannot state this position, give a brief explanation why.
  • Give details of any noteworthy media attention the case has received.
  • State the dollar amount you request for the reward and why that amount is appropriate.
  • State whether any other reward money has been offered, and if so, by whom and in what amounts.
  • State whether you’ve shared any confidential information in the letter.
  • Have the head of the law enforcement agency sign the letter. (For example, Chief of Police, Sheriff, or Regional CHP Commander.)

Your request should be on department letterhead. Send it to:

Office of Governor Newsom
Attention: Legal Affairs
1021 O Street, Suite 900
Sacramento, CA 95814