Structure and Funding of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers of Sarasota is a private, non 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 program’s success.
The Crime Stoppers program is funded by private donations, fund raising, and the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund. NO TAX DOLLARS are involved.
A community board of directors, made up of persons from throughout the Sarasota area, meets monthly to evaluate arrests and decide on the size of rewards to be paid. Rewards are then distributed in a private manner to the tipsters. While callers are eligible for rewards up to $5,000, many Tipsters choose not to collect their rewards.
Does Crime Stoppers Work?
The answer is, yes! Since the start of Crime Stoppers, the many tips received have resulting in thousands of arrests and the recovery of substantial amounts of property. Tips have included information about murder, robbery, rape, assaults, and drug and firearm offenses.
The success of a Crime Stoppers program cannot be judged purely on statistics. Other benefits worth noting are:
*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 here to stay. It has been accepted by law enforcement as a valid and effective investigative tool, and through the public's overwhelming response, it appears to have accepted it as well.