GPD offers $50K reward for information on officer death

The Gainesville Police Department (GPD) is looking for the public’s help in solving 27 cold case homicides—and it’s willing to pay for quality tips. 

The City of Gainesville is funding a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in one of the cases, which date back to 1974. 

In addition, the city will pay up to $50,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in connection with the line-of-duty death of GPD officer Scott Baird in 2001. Baird had been dispatched to remove a large baseball batting cage blocking the roadway on a foggy morning when a car hit the cage and killed Baird instantly. 

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“The people responsible for positioning the batting cage in the road have never come forward and the case has been an unsettling reminder of the sacrifice Officer Baird gave to prevent needless injury or even death to an innocent victim,” a GPD press release said. 

This past Feb. 12 marked the 20th anniversary of Baird’s death. On that date members of the community, including Baird’s family, gathered for a candlelight vigil behind Gainesville High School on what is now known as Officer Scott Baird Boulevard. The event took place at Baird’s roadside memorial, which was later vandalized

Baird is one of only four GPD officers killed in the line of duty and the only incident remaining unsolved, according to GPD.

GPD asks that anyone with information about any of the 27 cases listed online contact Sgt. David Blizzard at 352-393-7710 or the investigations divisions tip line at 352- 393-7700.

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