How Does Crime Stoppers Work?
There are three essential elements:
Crime Stoppers methods, objectives, and phone numbers are publicized on a regular basis by the media. An unsolved crime is given special treatment with details published in newspapers and aired on radio/television.
Citizens are responsible for forming a Crime Stoppers non-profit corporation, whose Directors establish policy, determine amount and method of reward payments, work closely with the media and police, and oversee the program. The Directors are responsible for fund raising and all volunteer services. No tax money is sought.
A special Crime Stoppers phone with a well-publicized number is manned by detectives. The callers are given a special code number and do not give their names. If, after investigation the information leads to an arrest, the caller is entitled to a reward of up to $1,000.
Hancock County Sheriff
Findlay Police Department
National History of Crime Stoppers:
Crime Stoppers got its start in 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since then it has expanded to over 850 local Crime Stoppers organizations in the U.S. and led to similar programs in other countries.
History Crime Stoppers of Findlay/Hancock County, Inc.:
In Findlay, a local businesswoman, Jane Burson, is credited with getting the program off the ground. In 1987, Burson volunteered to serve on the Chamber of Commerce’s Crime and Vandalism Committee. During one of the group’s meetings she suggested that Findlay explore the Crime Stopper program which she heard about in Toledo.
Burson arranged for Helen Hawley, the president of Toledo Crime Stoppers and a personal friend, to come to Findlay and discuss the program with the committee.
Eventually Findlay Police Chief David Clark (now retired) and former Hancock County Sheriff, Byron Boutwell became involved and a decision was made to start a Crime Stopper program in Findlay.
Startup money was provided from an L. Dale Dorney Foundation grant with matching funds raised by business and private individuals.
The first call to Crime Stoppers – in November 1987 – led to the arrest of a man in connection with an armed robbery of a Findlay carryout. The man was located in Yuma, Arizona, and returned to Ohio. He was sentenced to prison in early 1988 after being convicted of robbery and felonious assault.
The largest Crime Stopper reward, $1,000, was paid out in 1989 when a rural Findlay man located the body of a baby who had been killed and thrown into Eagle Creek.
Crime Stoppers of Findlay/Hancock County, Inc., is governed by a board of directors made up of local law enforcement and fire officials along with a number of private citizens. The board of directors meets monthly to evaluate the program, promote the program and decide on the amounts of rewards to be paid.