Sheriff, Baileyville Begin Crime Stoppers Initiative

By Lura Jackson

 

As part of the multi-agency collaboration that area law enforcement is pursuing, the Washington County Sheriff’s office and the Baileyville Police Department are beginning a Crime Stoppers initiative for the local area. Crime Stoppers is a national program that offers cash incentives for tips leading to the arrest of law breaking individuals.

The sheriff’s office announced the program on February 20th on social media, immediately drawing support from the local community. A request for volunteers to serve on the board and to assist in general with the program was met with an enthusiastic response, prompting the scheduling of the first two meetings. The first meeting will be held on February 28th at 6:30 p.m. at the Baileyville Police Department, and the second meeting will be March 1st at 6:00 p.m. at the Cooperative Extension building on Center Street in Machias, the Sheriff’s office posted.  

“At these meetings we will discuss the general purpose of Crime Stoppers and go over the bylaws by in which the program is managed, including the responsibilities of the board and talk about volunteers,” shared Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Crabtree.

Crime Stoppers utilizes a specific phone number – 1-800-222-TIPS – for the public to call in and leave tips related to suspected criminal activity. The information is taken anonymously and each caller is given a code with which they may later claim their cash reward, provided that their tip leads to an arrest. The anonymous nature of the program is deliberate to remove any fear of potential reprisal, while the cash reward is an incentive for the public to become involved in the crime fighting program.

Crime Stoppers was formed originally in 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico after a gas station attendant was shot and killed. After two weeks with no leads, the police offered $1,000 for information from the public, leading to an individual to call in that said they hadn’t wanted to get involved before. Since then, more than half a million arrests have been made using a tip from the service.

For more information about Crime Stoppers, visit www.crimestoppersusa.org.