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.


     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.



   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. 

The Police 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.

The Public 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.

The Media 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. 

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