What Is Crime Stoppers?
Crime Stoppers is a citizen, media and law enforcement co-operative program designed to involve the public in the fight against crime. Crime Stoppers provides citizens with a way to anonymously supply law enforcement with information about a crime, potential crime, criminal activity or stolen property of which they have knowledge. Citizens/tipsters who provide anonymous tip information by calling, texting or emailing are eligible for a cash reward up to $1000 when their information leads to an arrest.
How Did Crime Stoppers Begin?
In 1976, in Albuquerque, NM, a University of New Mexico student was killed during a gas station robbery. After a six-week investigation, the police had very few leads. An Albuquerque Police Detective thought that if the public was able to see a reenactment of the crime on television, a witness may come forward and provide information that could lead to an arrest. The Detective was right. A caller contacted the police department the next day after seeing the reenactment. The tip information was enough to lead the police to the two men who were responsible for the robbery and murder. Within 72 hours of the reenactment being aired on Albuquerque television stations, the police had solved the crime. This was the beginning of Crime Stoppers. Crime Stopper organizations are now worldwide.
How Did Heart of Texas Crime Stoppers Begin?
Brownwood businessman and owner of W.T. Harris Company, Barton Harris had a sincere respect for the Law Enforcement mission. His involvement in local Law Enforcement led to many special honors over the years. In 1984, Barton served on the inaugural board for Brown County Crime Stoppers. After relentless years of dedication, that Crime Stoppers unit was expanded to a multi-county unit to include Mills County and Coleman County and is now known as Heart of Texas Crime Stoppers. Barton perished in an aviation accident in 2010, in Eagle County, CO.
How Does It Work?
An anonymous, out of state Crime Stoppers tip line is manned by trained communications personnel who receive, process, and pass on tip information to law enforcement. Callers, texters and emailers are given a code number which is used in all subsequent contact. Whether you call, text or email tip information, you remain anonymous. A reward of up to $1,000 is possible to anyone providing information which leads to an arrest for a crime. The media is a very important component of Crime Stoppers. An unsolved crime may be publicized in a newspaper or aired on the radio. The media helps bring the program to the attention of the public.
Is Crime Stoppers Effective?
In one word, YES!! In an 18 month period covering 2010 and 2011 over 375 anonymous calls were received on the Heart of Texas Crime Stoppers toll free tip line; over 200 anonymous tips were received via anonymous text tips and the toll free tip line; and over $11,000 in cash rewards have been paid to anonymous tipsters. That’s a program that works!!
Who Administers The Program?
An active volunteer Board of Directors administers the program. Heart of Texas Crime Stoppers is a state certified, multi-county, non-profit organization that is responsible for raising funds and the disbursement of rewards. The Board of Directors work in close cooperation with a law enforcement coordinator and local law enforcement officers.
To call in a tip: 1(800) 222-8477
For more information http://www.heartoftexascrimestoppers.org/