Following its annual membership drive, representatives from Webster County Crime Stoppers have announced they expect to hit their goal of 200 members.
As of Friday there were 160 paid members for 2014, but John Bruner, membership chair, said he is expecting more members to pay dues in the coming months.
"For about 25 to 30 percent of our members, their fiscal year begins July 1," Bruner said. "They don't cut their checks until then, and because of that they don't renew until July or August. But they're very good about doing that."
Bruner said he's "very optimistic" the goal of 200 members will be hit.
The number of members that have renewed so far is one of the best showings over the past few years, according to Bruner.
"I think more people are becoming informed about Crime Stoppers and about the power of the organization," he said. "Our goal is to make this a safer community, a more attractive community."
In recent years, Bruner said Crime Stoppers has made efforts to reach out to the community.
"We have peace officers, myself and other members of the board giving presentations to service clubs, church groups and other groups that fundraise and support healthy activities in our communites," he said. "We're getting the word out and we're out there stumping."
The group also sends direct mailings to both members and prospective members.
"We're not wearing uniforms, but we're helping those in uniforms," Bruner said. "We're partners, and it's a great partnership."
The partnership between Webster County's Crime Stoppers group and local law enforcement has led to other counties reaching out and asking for assistance.
"Hamilton County recently started their own Crime Stoppers group and they've been very effective," Bruner said. "We've been getting calls from Linn County asking for information and we've heard from Carroll County and Calhoun County. These counties want information because there's something really special going on in Webster County with the citizen program that supports all the law enforcement groups."
He said those who become members of Crime Stoppers know their money is going to help the county.
"It's not just the money," he said. "When people participate as members they're telling people about what we're doing. It's great support for law enforcement in making our communities safer."
"We want their ears and eyes," Bruner said. "We want our members telling our story. It's more important than the money if members tell other people and they come to the aid of law enforcement."