MESSAGING TIP SERVICE
For the first time, mobile phone users now have the
ability to provide anonymous crime fighting tips through the power of
anonymous text messaging and WebTips. Effingham Area Crime Stoppers and
Anderson Software, the industry leader in law enforcement tip management
software and web applications, have joined together to provide this service
which allows citizens to send anonymous tips by sending a text message from
a mobile phone or online.
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.
HOW DOES 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 normal channels.
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
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.