Structure and Funding of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is a private, a not for profit organization. Its civilian-based, community board of directors provides direction as to the financial and promotional activities of the program. The board of directors enhances the community involvement aspect, and its function is vital to the programs success.
The Crime Stoppers program is funded by private donations, fund raising, and the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund. NO TAX DOLLARS are involved. The reward money paid out by the program is from the fund raising and donations from concerned citizens and businesses.
A community board of directors, made up of persons from throughout the area, meets on a monthly basis to evaluate arrests and to decide on the size of rewards to be paid, up to $3,000. Rewards are then distributed in a private manner to the callers. Callers are eligible for rewards up to $3,000, but, despite this, many callers choose not to collect their rewards.
Does Crime Stoppers Work?
The answer is quite simply, yes. Since the start of Crime Stoppers, many calls have been received resulting in thousands of arrests and recovery of substantial amounts of property. Calls have included information about murder, robbery, rape, assaults, drug and firearm offenses.
The success of a Crime Stoppers program cannot be purely judged on statistics, however, other benefits have come to notice:
A greater awareness in the community that there is a crime problem.
A willingness by the community to fight back against crime if it is given the opportunity and motivation.
Improved relationships between police, media, and the community.
Crime Stoppers is definitely here to stay. It has been accepted by law enforcement as a valid and effective investigative tool and the public, through its overwhelming response, appears to have accepted it as a more palatable alternative to traditional methods of giving information.