In the final month of its annual membership drive, Webster County Crime Stoppers is hoping to finish strong.
The campaign, which began in mid-November, was originally expected to be completed by now. However, due to holiday schedule conflicts, the drive has been extended into January.
Membership Chair John Bruner said at this point the group has seen much success in its efforts.
"On the initial effort to get our people to renew, we've received 120 renewal letters," he said, "and that's just through the letter campaign. We plan on doing a follow-up card campaign to those who have not paid."
Compared to previous years, Bruner said the response has been much better.
"Our initial response is probably better this year as far as people not needing to be nudged a second time," he said. "Some of our folks that we normally have to send multiple letters to have paid right away."
Bruner attributed this to more people being aware of what Crime Stoppers is doing.
"We seem to be right on target," he said. "We're moving through the membership campaign at about the same pace and with the same response as the past three years."
Looking back on 2012, which also happened to be Crime Stoppers' 30th anniversary, Bruner said the year was a successful one.
"It's been an excellent year as far as participation by all the citizens," he said. "They really get involved in not just Crime Stoppers, but the most wanted program as well."
Counting this year's statistics, Bruner said the monthly most wanted list continues to have an 81 percent success rate in terms of captures.
He added the success of the year can also be attributed to the partnerships with law enforcement in the county.
"Every year it gets better, and that's thanks to the leadership in each department," he said. "We see this organization becoming stronger because the participants are becoming closer, which means we're working closer together and are more trusting."
"There's no egos involved," he added. "We just want this place safe and we want criminals off the streets."
Looking to the future, Bruner said he would like to see a large increase in membership.
"We need members and active citizens to keep making this a safer place to live," he said. "We want to get our numbers back up to 200 and eventually we hope to get 500 members."
Bruner said he believes it is possible to get that many people involved.
"We have to sell it to them, everybody in the city and county," he said. "I won't be completely satisfied until we have everybody enrolled as a member."