Hernando County Crime Stoppers welcomes the opportunity to speak to local groups and organizations. Official Website: www.hernandocountycrimestoppers.com
HERNANDO COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS
UNVEILS NEW LOGO …
Urges Citizens to
“Help Stop the Crime -- Make the Call!”
The Hernando County Crime Stoppers is pleased to unveil its new logo, designed with the intention to bring more public awareness to the program, and that the public can help stop, or prevent, crime in the county.
Hernando County Crime Stoppers began in 1995 and incorporated as a non-profit organization. The program is governed by an all-volunteer civilian Board of Directors made up of citizens and business people, and two law enforcement officers: one representing the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office and one from the City of Brooksville Police Department. The program is supervised through the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The Board of Directors approves and determines monetary rewards for tips which resulted an arrest, the recovery of stolen property, or the recovery of illegal drugs/narcotics. Crime Stoppers USA is the national Crime Stoppers organization that spans the United States to create a network of local programs that work together to prevent and solve crimes in communities and schools across the nation.
Crime Stoppers is based on the principle that someone, other than the criminal, probably has information that is valuable in solving a crime, and was created to combat the three major problems faced by law enforcement in generating that information: fear of reprisal; an attitude of apathy; and reluctance to get involved. Crime Stoppers resolves these problems by offering anonymity to people who provide information about crimes, and by paying rewards when the information supplied leads to arrest. The Hernando County Crime Stoppers program offers cash rewards of up to $1000.00 to persons providing anonymous information that leads to the felony arrest of criminals and fugitives.
What happens if you call in a Tip? The Tip Center is staffed 24/7. Tips may be called in by phone or submitted online. Each method is handled with complete discretion. You will not be required to reveal your name, make a statement or appear in court. Crime Stoppers can NOT know your identity! All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and treated as protected information. Information is received through anonymous Crime Stoppers tips that are received through a secure tips line or through a secure web connection manned by a professional program coordinator. Each caller is assigned a code number for the purpose of ensuring anonymity.
The call-answering person processes the incoming tips, and tipsters can call in every Wednesday to find out the status of their tip. If a tip leads to an arrest, the tipster is given a cash reward. The tipster still remains anonymous, with an additional code being assigned to claim their reward. Rewards are set according to the seriousness of the crime, total arrested and total cases cleared. Hernando County Crime Stoppers partners with a local bank to pay the cash reward without any identification from the tipster. The types of crimes that may be “tipped” include murder, aggravated battery, robbery, illegal narcotics, burglary of home, business, or vehicle; grand theft (item valued over $300), auto theft, and felony fugitive (criminal has avoided capture or fails to appear in court after bonding). Additionally, tips about cyber-crime that targets children, fraud, or online identity theft is added to the list.
Through a combination of efforts by local media, businesses, civic and social clubs, law enforcement agencies, and the public, the Crime Stopper program has proved to be an effective tool in fighting crime and identifying criminals in Hernando County. In 2012, Hernando County Crime Stoppers received 764 tips, resulting in 53 arrests and 71 cases cleared, recovering property and seized drugs totaling $45,552.00.
In 2013, 894 tips were received, resulting in 56 arrests and 93 cases cleared with $8,000.00 in drug seizures. Through the end of May 2014, Hernando County Crime Stoppers has received 393 tips, with 20 arrests made and 22 cases cleared. Total recovery for the months January through May 2014 totals $24,170.00, of which $23,400.00 is from seized drugs.
Since its inception in 1995, Hernando County Crime Stoppers has received 5,582 tips about crimes or criminal activity, resulting in 436 arrests and 574 cases cleared. The recovery of property and drugs totals $829,753.00.
Surprisingly, not all of the tip rewards are actually collected. For many, just getting the criminal activity out of their neighborhood, or their family circle, or protecting a child is reward enough. The Crime Stoppers program has enjoyed great success with the information received which has led to the arrest and indictment of those responsible for committing felony offenses, boasting an average conviction rate of approximately 95% on cases solved by a tip to the program.
Sheriff Al Neinhuis recently commented on the efforts of the local Crime Stoppers group.
“We are very proactive here at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office when it comes to tracking down suspects. One of our best tools in doing so is getting the citizens involved in fighting crime. Fortunately, technological improvements give us many more photographs of suspects than we have had in the past. This fact, combined with our emphasis on social media, has been a windfall for my investigators. Crime Stoppers is an excellent partner in these crime fighting efforts. The Crime Stoppers philosophy completely takes away any argument a witness might have for remaining silent. Since tipsters can remain anonymous and even obtain sizeable rewards, I am confident that Crime Stoppers has helped us solve cases faster than we otherwise would have using conventional investigative techniques. The faster we can get these thugs off the streets, the fewer people are victimized.