Illinois city may give cops $500 bonus for murder-free year

Lawmakers in Illinois' second-largest city may give each of the city's 289 sworn police officers a $500 bonus as a reward for a murder-free 2012.

NBCChicago reports city council members in Aurora, Illinois will vote on the proposal, which would cost the city $144,500, later this month.

The city's finance committee approved the plan, which was proposed by Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, 3-0 on Tuesday.

Weisner says the officers who patrolled the streets played the most critical role in preventing homicides in 2012

"It is important that we recognize this milestone and the men and women chiefly responsible for it," Weisner told NBCChicago. "It is impossible to put a number to the value of what they have achieved, but even in this difficult economy, we should make the sacrifices necessary to reward this extraordinary accomplishment."

The western Chicago suburb of some 200,000 people was homicide-free last year for the first time since 1946.The last murder reported in the city was a domestic violence attack in late December 2011.

Police Chief Greg Thomas tells NBCChicago he believes community policing was key to the city's homicide prevention.

"We have to have that trust with the community," he said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.