Crime Stoppers, new life for an old idea

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2002

As the war on terrorism continues into the New Year, one of the important strategies being employed is not only high tech surveillance or security equipment, but also an effective idea that has been around forever.

Well-known in America as Crime Stoppers, the idea seems to go back to knowing and loving your neighbor. "One of the great things about living in America is the freedoms that we do have, but along with that great amount of freedom comes a great amount of responsibility. Citizens as a whole, have a lot more freedom to check out their neighbors and make inquiry than the police or government authorities. Staying in touch with the neighbors around you is good citizenship. Then if you should notice suspicious activity, to call authorities or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers has proven to be very effective in stopping all kinds of crime," said Sgt. Chuck Kopp, Coordinator of the local Crime Stopper's program, at the last Kenai Chamber of Commerce meeting of the year 2001.

According to Kopp, when you call in a tip on the Crime Stoppers your call is unrecorded, and you are not required to give any personal identifiers unless you volunteer to do so, "The reason why people choose to give their name is because rewards are paid out on a frequent basis for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a crime," said Kopp.

Crime Stopper's is a partnership between the community, the media and law enforcement, "As the information gets out there that the program works through the media, and that there is not a fear of reprisal, people are brought to justice, and it is an effective means of building a safer community," added Kopp. Even though the financial rewards are an important part of the Crime Stopper's program, Kopp feels that most people call in out of a sense of responsibility. For more information about the Crime Stopper's program contact the local chairperson, Barbara Ruckman at 283-8477. Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stopper's at 283-TIPS or toll free at 1-800-478-HALT.

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