A new way to fight crimePublished 11:06pm Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Law enforcement launches program for anonymous tips
Tallapoosa County law enforcement agencies are joining forces to fight crime in the county.
Wednesday night, officials met with county leaders create a board of directors for Tallapoosa County Crime Stoppers at the County Courthouse in Dadeville.
Crime Stoppers is a program that allows citizens the opportunity to give anonymous tips to help solve crimes that have been committed in the area. If the tips lead to an arrest, the person could receive a cash reward.
Lt. Bill Hough, investigator for the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department, said this gives law enforcement another tool to solve crimes.
“It’s a great deterrent – it’s a great crime solver,” Hough said. “It helps law enforcement, and we have to have the media, the community and citizens along with law enforcement working together.”
After the announcement was made to launch Crime Stoppers, Hough met with prospective board of director members for an organizational meeting. This board will set up the bylaws and determine who receives a reward for giving tips.
Crime Stoppers is independently funded through fundraisers and donations of the community.
Capt. Van Jackson, a Lee County deputy sheriff who is the coordinator for Crime Stoppers in Lee County and Alabama, said this was a big day for Tallapoosa County.
“This is one of the greatest things that could have happened to this community because like other communities, there are crimes that are unsolved and there’s people out there with the information to solve those cases,” Jackson said. “I just think today they crossed a major hurdle and opened a door to be able to solve some of those cases in which they wouldn’t be able to solve.”
Jackson told the group that when someone calls Crime Stoppers, the calls are not recorded and a person’s identity isn’t documented. Those who call in receive a number and are told to watch the newspaper to see if their tip led to an arrest.
Once the arrest is made, the anonymous person must call back in and receive another number. He or she will also be told to go to a certain bank to receive a cash reward.
Jackson and Hogue both said this program helps solve a wide range of crimes.
“If a person now is committing a crime, they need to be concerned because Tallapoosa County now has a Crime Stoppers, in which people will receive rewards to call in about their criminal behavior,” Jackson said. “It’s a valuable tool and I’m excited that they’re getting it started here.”
Alexander City Police Chief Charles Rafford said Crime Stoppers tips don’t just apply to those that have been advertised in the media.
“Anyone can call in about any crime and give an anonymous tip, whether it’s been in the media or not,” Rafford said. “You can still receive a reward for solving any crime.”
New Site Police Chief John McKelvey said he’s glad that Tallapoosa County has started this program.
“It’s wonderful to be establishing this program right here in Tallapoosa County,” McKelvey said. “It gives us another way to solve crimes that we wouldn’t be able to solve any other way.”