WHAT IS A
CRIME STOPPERS PROGRAM?
All Crime Stoppers
Programs share a common goal: They exist to help law enforcement
agencies solve crime. In every community there are people who have
information that could help police arrest criminals, but that information
never reaches officials. Most experts agree that two factors impede
this flow of information: fear and apathy. Crime Stoppers programs
overcome these obstacles, and provide a new channel for knowledge to flow
from the public to the police.
CRIME STOPPERS WORK?
Simply put, Crime
Stoppers provides a telephone number where citizens can anonymously report
information that may help police solve crime. Callers are assigned a
code number when they give their information, and at no time are they
required to provide their name, address, or telephone number. The
ability to remain anonymous is a major factor in overcoming the fear that
many people feel. Callers are also eligible for cash rewards up to
$1000, if the information they provide results in the arrest and filing of
criminal charges against a suspect. The availability of these rewards
can be a significant motivator to people who would otherwise remain
uninvolved. By its very design, then, Crime Stoppers overcomes the two
major obstacles that prevent people from contacting the police through
WHO MAKES UP A
Crime Stoppers programs are made up
of three components: the police, the public and the media. Each
element is equally important to the success of the program.
provide a coordinator who acts as a liaison between
law enforcement and the program. The Crime Stoppers program operates
as a separate entity from the police department but the police department
receives the information generated, and are committed to the concept and
timely use of that information. The police coordinator is responsible
for the day-to-day operation of the program, and is the most visible member
of the team.
provides the Board of Directors, responsible for the
guidance and direction of that effort. The board is composted of
concerned citizens who guide and direct the program. The Board raises
money to pay rewards (no government funds are used), and serve as the
visible community involvement in the program. Reward money is obtained
through donations from businesses, money raised from the annual Crime
Stoppers 5K Walk-Run and donations from the courts.
organizations publicize the program, keeping it in
the public eye with success stories and the "Crime of the Week". Every
successful Crime Stoppers program also has extensive media support.
Small markets may depend on local newspapers, radio, and cable television
for similar coverage. The "Crime of the Week" serves two purposes; it
presents a crime that police wish to develop information on and it serves as
a constant reminder of the program's presence in the community.