Crime Stoppers

November 2, 2010 • Business, Local Business Review

Steve Wolfe (left to right), Richard Lucero and Erica O’Bryon, Public Relations Officer with [auth] the Roswell Police Department, work hand-in-hand to help lower the crime rate in Roswell. They also need citizen support if they are going to be as successful as they can be. The Roswell Safe Coalition Building, housing Crime Stoppers and Neighborhood Watch, is located at 426 North Main Street. Please call 622-7233 for more information on how you, as a private citizen, can help lower the crime rate in Roswell and Chaves County.

Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization of citizens against crime

Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards of up to $1000 to anyone furnishing anonymous information that leads to the arrest of criminals

“Together We Can” was the slogan recently at a Crime Stoppers USA Conference held in San Antonio, Texas, and attended by Chaves County Crime Stoppers Board President Steve Wolfe and by Secretary Susie Snyder. Highlighting the spirit of cooperation which is necessary to be a part of the solution to solving crime, the national conference provided a wealth of information. Wolfe stated, “I was especially impressed by the credentials of those who were there. There were many career law enforcement officials and many volunteers who give enormous amounts of time and energy to the Crime Stoppers program. As a rookie within the program, I found the sincere dedication of these people to be heartwarming.”

The Crime Stopper program is a New Mexico product, originating in Albuquerque in 1976, when police detective Greg MacAleese became concerned about unsolved crimes in the city, and especially about one case, the murder of a college student. He was convinced that someone out there knew who had committed this crime, and with the right incentive, might give information and help solve the murder. A cash reward, anonymously given, just might be the answer. Partnering with local media and Albuquerque law enforcement agencies, a program was established to encourage residents to share information. Based upon tips which came in, three suspects were arrested for the murder, within 72 hours!

Today, the Crime Stopper program, sometimes known by a different name (CrimeLine, for example), is active across the world. Crime Stoppers International can be found in the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Africa and other countries. As a matter of fact, one of the speakers at the conference, Mr. Michael Gordon-Gibson (who retired after 30 years of service mainly within Scotland Yard’s Intelligence Command of London’s Metropolitan Police) is the recently elected President of Crime Stoppers International. His words, like the overall theme of the entire event, echoed the absolute necessity for citizen and law enforcement agency interaction and cooperation locally, nationally, and internationally as well.

Here in Chaves County, the program is certainly not a new one either. Chaves County Crime Stoppers, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization was established in 1991. For many years, it was a vibrant, active program, but had become somewhat dormant in recent years. 2010 has become  the year for reenergizing Chaves County Crime Stoppers! Importantly, there is a new toll-free number to call: 1-888-594-TIPS (8477).

One of the keys to success in a program such as this is that the information received is good, clear and reliable. Early in the year, Chaves County Crime Stoppers contracted with  CrimeSceneInformation, a call center in LaPorte, Texas, which specializes exclusively in Crime Stoppers Programs. Highly trained operators are available 24/7 to take tips. They know how to take Criminal Tips, what’s important and what’s not, and how to communicate these tips to the Law Enforcement agencies so that they can be effective crime-fighting tools. Additionally, the call center is able to take calls in English and in Spanish and even other languages if necessary.

On the Roswell end, a Law Enforcement Coordinator, until recently Sergeant Tom Moody, and now Detective Albert Aldana, takes the calls and directs them to the appropriate agency, which may be the Sheriff’s Office or any one of the police departments in Chaves County. All of these calls are completely anonymous and, if they lead to the arrest or apprehension of a criminal, an award of up to $1000 can be awarded.

We are proud to have a Board of Directors who are leaders in the community, and who are passionate themselves about the Crime Stoppers program. In addition to Wolfe and Susie Snyder, other directors include Richard Lucero, Neil Roe, Charles Shannon, Bill Golden, as well as Sergeant Moody and Detective Aldana. It is this board which makes the determinations of whether or not an award should be given and how much is the right amount for the offense.

We’ll never eliminate criminal activity altogether, but this may be your chance to make a personal difference on crime in Roswell and in Chaves County as a whole! You may have information you can give, which is completely anonymous, and which can earn a cash reward.  If you would like more information about Crime Stoppers, you can call 622-SAFE (7233). To anonymously report a crime, call the Chaves County Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-888-594-TIPS (8477).

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