The Text Message Tip
Crime Stoppers now accepts tips via text messaging. As with “WebTips”, text message tips are completely secure and anonymous.
Once the text message is sent, the tipster receives a reply message with a confidential code number. Using the same Two-Way dialog capabilities of online tip reporting, Crime Stoppers will be able to re-contact tipsters via text message regarding their tips.
To send a text message tip from a cell phone, you must send your text to CRIMES (274637). Key word “TIP109” must appear on the first line of the text message in order for the tip to reach Crime Stoppers
Structure and Funding of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers of Sarasota is a private, a not for profit organization. Its civilian-based, community board of directors provides direction as to the financial and promotional activities of the program. The board of directors enhances the community involvement aspect, and its function is vital to the program’s success.
The Crime Stoppers program is funded by private donations, fund raising, and the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund. NO TAX DOLLARS are involved. The reward money paid out by the program is from the fund raising and donations from concerned citizens and businesses.
A community board of directors, made up of persons from throughout the area, meets on a monthly basis to evaluate arrests and to decide on the size of rewards to be paid, up to $1,000. Rewards are then distributed in a private manner to the callers. Callers are eligible for rewards up to $1,000, but, despite this, many callers choose not to collect their rewards.
Does Crime Stoppers Work?
The answer is quite simply, yes! Since the start of Crime Stoppers, many calls have been received resulting in thousands of arrests and recovery of substantial amounts of property. Calls have included information about murder, robbery, rape, assaults, and drug and firearm offenses.
The success of a Crime Stoppers program cannot be purely judged on statistics; however, other benefits have come to notice:
*A greater awareness in the community that there is a crime problem.
*A willingness by the community to fight back against crime if it is given the opportunity and motivation.
*Improved relationships between police, media, and the community.
Crime Stoppers is definitely here to stay. It has been accepted by law enforcement as a valid and effective investigative tool, and through the public's overwhelming response, it appears to have accepted it as well.