The most appealing part to some tipsters is that no one ever has to know it was you who helped nab the bad guy. The anonymity is something that helps police get even more tips, especially from those who may know the suspect personally. "We want you to be involved in your community and call police when you see a crime take place," said Topeka Police detective and Crime Stoppers Coordinator, Terry Symonds. "But Crime Stoppers is for those people who wouldn't ordinarily do that.
"To help motivate them to care about the community, to give them a way to call and be a good citizen without fear of retaliation or something else that there may be a fear of as far as cooperating with police."
Crime Stoppers started back in 1976 when a New Mexico detective convinced his superiors to let him produce a video re-enactment of a murder and give it to local t.v. stations, offering a reward for information. Read that story here.
Now, the program offers three ways for you to report information you know about a crime - call, text or submit it online. You can call confidentially at (785) 234-0007 or 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). If you choose to text your tip, text TIP128 at the start of your message to the number "CRIMES" (274637). Submit your tip online using this form.
Symonds says Crime Stoppers works when citizens become the eyes and ears of the police department. "There's no way law enforcement themselves can clean up crime unless the citizens of Topeka want them to and are going to assist them," Symonds said.
In 2008, Crime Stopper tips led to 20 arrests in Topeka, clearing seven cases. Since the program started in Topeka in 1981, 1,292 arrests; 1,322 cases; and $1,527,898 in recovered property and drugs have been recovered thanks to tips.
Funds for the reward monies is raised by the community. You can help the Topeka Crime Stoppers by attending its 28th Anniversary Banquet on January 20, 2008. Organizers are still looking to fill seats at $60 individual, $450 for a table of eight, which is largely tax deductible.