What is Crime Stoppers?
On January 1, 2014, the Rockford Area Crime Stoppers Program completed 33 years of successful service to the citizens of Winnebago County. The program is managed by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers Division and receives partial financial support from the City of Rockford Police Department for operating costs. The Division is staffed by one full time reserve deputy, who acts as director, and one full-time civilian assistant who is employed by Crime Stoppers.
The primary purpose of the program is to reduce crime and create a safer living environment by offering cash rewards to individuals who provide information which is used by law enforcement authorities in their efforts to identify criminal activity, solve crimes, recover stolen property and apprehend fugitives, thus creating the impression to potential offenders that the possibility of getting away with a crime is greatly reduced.
Program statistics for the year 2013 indicate the Crime Stoppers office received several thousand calls. Seven hundred twenty-one (721) calls were directly related to criminal activity, and the information was forwarded to the appropriate agencies for their investigative follow-up.
Eight hundred sixty-one (861) criminal cases were cleared. Five hundred thirty-nine (539) individuals were arrested. $752,251 in property, narcotics, and cash were recovered. Callers were paid $43,725 in rewards for their information. NOTE: The money used to pay rewards comes from contributions from the general public, foundations, corporations, businesses, civic organizations, etc. No tax dollars are used to pay rewards.
The Crime Stoppers organization also continues to address school-related crime through the “Quick 50” Program. Public and private schools throughout Winnebago County use the program to encourage students to become involved in making their schools safer by offering up to $50.00 for information which leads to the suspension or arrest of students who are involved in criminal acts. In some cases, the reward may exceed $50.00
The “Quick 50” Program statistics for the 2012-2013 school years (August 2012 - June 2013) are as follows: A total of 59 students were arrested or suspended and 59 cases were cleared. Seven (7) alcohol cases were cleared. Thirty-seven (37) narcotics arrests were made. Three (3) theft cases were cleared. Three (3) weapons cases were cleared. Nine (9) miscellaneous cases were cleared. Students were paid $1,705 in rewards. There was also $2,565 in narcotics and property recovered.
Informing the Public
Crime Stoppers has an excellent relationship with various media resources which allows the program to disseminate information to the public which assists Law Enforcement agencies to arrest Fugitives and solve crimes. TV stations feature wanted suspects on their news broadcasts, (over 20 different subjects every week).
The Rockford Area Crime Stoppers Fugitive Alert Bulletin continues to be published in cooperation with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockford Police Department. The bulletin features nine individuals wanted on warrants, and is disseminated throughout Winnebago County by Law Enforcement officers, e-mail, and Postal Services.
To see the latest Fugitive Alert Bulletins click here.
Rockford Area Crime Stoppers on the web: www.rockfordcrimestoppers.com.