A Canadian police detective with the local Police started the idea for Crime Stoppers in 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Greg MacAleese was investigating a gas station hold up, which had resulted in the attendant being shot and killed. There seemed to be no leads in the murder, and after six weeks the investigation had virtually come to a stop. MacAleese believed that for every person that committed a crime there was at least one other person who knew about it. He also believed that the people who had the information did not want to come forward because of the fear of reprisal or apathy to crime itself.
There had been other types of rewards in the past buy they usually required the person to identify himself or her and they were based on a conviction. So MacAleese made his reward payable upon arrest and allowed the caller to remain anonymous by giving them a secret code. Within 48 hours of posting the reward – two people were arrested and later convicted of murder. MacAleese felt that if this type of program were to be successful in the long run it would have to be run by the community and remain separate from the police.
Crime Stoppers has three components, which work together to solve crime and to make communities safer – PUBLIC- MEDIA – POLICE.
Crime Stoppers is now world wide with over 1000 programs. This year, Crime Stoppers International received standing recognition with the United Nations. Canada has 90 programs of which 39 are right here in Ontario.
The Kawartha Haliburton Crime Stopper program has been in existence since 1989, and just celebrated 25 years! While it has had several name changes the premise has and does remain the same – To assist police is solving crime.
Kawartha Haliburton Crime Stoppers currently relies on fundraising to keep the program running, and presently has 10 board members who oversee the management of the entire organization.
The board authorizes the amount of rewards being paid, organize fundraising events and promote the program within the community. Word of mouth, newspaper articles, radio announcements and public exposure have played an important role in promoting Crime Stoppers. Through tips received from the general public, the program has recovered a total of $36 million plus in property and taken high numbers of drugs off the street. These are pretty impressive stats for a non-profit organization.
Kawartha Haliburton Crime Stoppers has also been active in fundraising events. We host an annual golf tournament at the Lindsay Golf & Country club and we also run a lawn tractor lottery where we sell tickets throughout the Kawartha and Haliburton region. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the golf tournament and we appreciate any support we can receive.
Help is always needed to continue to make the program a successful one. You can make a charitable donation to the program at either the City Of Kawartha Lakes Police Service or the City of Kawartha Lakes OPP detachment. If you would like to assist by becoming a board member please call, the coordinator of the program, Constable Carrie Jenkins at 324-5252 ext. 590 or write to crime stoppers: P.O. Box 155 Lindsay Ont. K9V 4R8.