Well, we still have work to do! As long as Roswell and Chaves County continue to have a crime problem, Chaves County Crime Stoppers will be involved.
Back in the mid-1970’s, Detective Greg MacAleese of the Albuquerque Police Department was becoming very frustrated. He was conducting a homicide investigation and was getting absolutely nowhere. There was no question in his mind that the public would need to get involved and thus he began to formulate an idea to encourage their help. Detective MacAleese was convinced that someone had to know who committed that crime! Additionally, he was sure that if he could guarantee that a tipster would remain anonymous as well as the promise of a cash reward, the crime could be solved. MacAleese was able to gain support for his idea, the case was solved with the help of the public, and the Crime Stopper programs of today continue to work nationally and internationally.
Detective MacAleese had it right. The public must become involved in solving crime in any community. Organizations such as Neighborhood Watch, Crime Stoppers, and many others all exist because law enforcement agencies, while they are very effective, simply cannot do it all. They must have the assistance of the rest of us. It’s just too big a job.
Here’s how Chaves County Crime Stoppers works. If you see something or you are aware of some criminal activity, call the number 1-888-594-8477 (TIPS). An operator at our call center, which is in another state, will take your call. No one will recognize your voice. You will be given a special number and you should write it down. Information from your call goes to a special police department coordinator who will direct the call to the right agency or the right person. If an arrest is made or a warrant issued based on the tip you made, you may be eligible for an award of up to $1,000.00. It is important to call the Crime Stopper number first, unless of course it is an emergency. There are clearly times when a quick call to 911 will be more important than any reward you might receive.
We are proud of the eleven citizens and law enforcement personnel who give of their own time and effort to serve as members of the Board. Likewise, as a board, we are appreciative of the wonderful community support which we get. To date, we have awarded more than $10,000 and those calls have placed more than thirty people in jail. While it seems a shame to be proud of such statistics, it is necessary so that we can maintain just a little more control over crime in Roswell.