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Crime Stoppers increasing rewards

Organization works with other agencies

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The new “Say It Here” logo is being promoted by Webster County Crimes Stoppers, in conjunction with other efforts, as it works to market its program to accept tips and dole out rewards anonymously to those with valuable information about criminals. Those wishing to do so are only identified by a number assigned to them.

Webster County Crime Stoppers is working to increase rewards offered in certain cases leading to the apprehension of suspects.

That’s just one step the group is taking to increase awareness of Crime Stoppers and the number of tips it collects that lead to arrests and convictions, working as the eyes and ears of law enforcement.

Since Crime Stoppers is prevented by its own bylaws from offering more than $1,000 rewards for valuable information, they’re partnering with sponsors that can supplement rewards separately, increasing the amount substantially and garnering more attention from those with information.

Effectively doubling an offer could be a huge help to law enforcement.

“We’re trying to work with the police department and law enforcement who know what’s going on in Webster County, to assist them with the tools they need in helping to solve a crime,” said David Bradley, president of the Webster County Crime Stoppers. “If that’s monetary rewards, we’re going to step up to the plate and try to accomplish that for them. That’s our goal.”

Since 2002, Webster County Crime Stoppers’ “Most Wanted” program has led to the apprehension of 1,700 suspects, paying out $160,000 in rewards.

Nationally, the program led to 750,000 arrests, impoundment of $3.5 billion in illegal drugs and the solving of 8,700 homicides.

“We just want to have the opportunity to give what the police feel they need to get the information,” Bradley said of the new, bolstering partnerships to beef up rewards.

With new branding, including the “Say It Here” program, which has implemented safe, secure ways to report crime anonymously, Bradley said they want their logos to be as recognized as McDonald’s.

“When you see it, you think Crime Stoppers,” he said of the blue “Say It Here” logo being promoted now by Crime Stoppers chapters across the country.

Somewhat recent updates to their system implemented the ability to text crimes in anonymously. Those who call or text in information are given a number, which remains their sole identification with the organization. Information is filtered through a third party so that Crime Stoppers can not identify them.

Bradley says the local chapter is focused on increasing apprehension of those believed to have committed crimes with clear and reckless disregard for public safety, such as shootings near schools.

“We can do a lot of things when the community works together with law enforcement and keeps their eyes and ears open to make a community a safer and pleasant place to live,” he said.

To report information about crimes or suspects to Webster County Crime Stoppers, call 515-573-1444 or text “LEC” and the tip to CRIMES.