Crimestoppers has been in existence since 1976 when an Albuquerque, New Mexico detective offered a cash reward for an anonymous tip to help solve a local murder. Since that time, Crimestoppers all over the United States have solved 15,706 homicides and made more than 73,000 felony arrests. Local Crime Stoppers programs are non-profit organizations led by citizens against crime.
Last month, the local Crimestoppers unit expanded to include Cass County. Local Community Service Officer and current President of the Illinois State Crimestoppers Board of Directors attended the annual Crimestoppers USA conference in Tempe, Arizona. The conference attracted 250 attendees from all around the United States, including Hawaii, Guam and the Marianas. Guests from Canada also attended.
Hamilton says that he participated in talks about the current opioid crisis as well as ways to get millenials involved in the Crimestoppers organization. He says he’s been very fortunate to be in his position for a number of years,but other chapters throughout the country go through a high amount of turnover. He says it’s a way for everyone at the conference to learn from each other and stay current on issues effecting everyone around the country.
He says its also a good way to keep up to date on legislation in various states, various tax laws in each states when it comes to tip payouts, and to understand what each state and locality has as far as tools to combat crimes.
Hamilton says that the Morgan, Scott, Cass Crimestoppers have been effective in getting crimes solved this year: “I’m going to guess and say about 30 arrests so far this year on about 275 tips received so far this year. We’ve been very proud of our numbers. I haven’t figured the exact numbers for the quarter that ended on September 30th. That number doesn’t take into account the number of people who call us and turn themselves in on the agreement that we take their name and picture down from the website. If you would factor that number in, our number would likely be closer to 40%.”
Hamilton said that he’s also very grateful for the participation of local residents and local media sharing posts on social media. He says that the hits on profiles and numbers of tips rise exponentially when the public engages and gets information to local authorities on crimes.