In this time of COVID-19, the thought of Crime Stoppers takes on a whole new meaning. Yet, this 501(c)(3) non-profit, free-standing independent organization, plays its role like one might imagine, with just a little twist here and there.
Staying anonymous, this group’s members work with individuals who have a secret to tell, a tip to share, which will lead our police force to apprehend those who choose not to follow the law.
McAllen Crime Stoppers began in 1984 as a partnership with the McAllen Police Department. However, over the years, organizers learned they needed the organization to be a stand-alone entity in order to reach the success level they wished to achieve.
Today there are 16 volunteer members with two ultimate tasks. The first is to fundraise to pay individuals for the anonymous tips that lead police to a suspect arrest. The second is to pay the tip.
Without a doubt, the program is a success.
“At the end of 2019, we recorded our 10th consecutive annual crime volume and crime rate reduction,” McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said. “When anyone sees a news clip and they are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 687-TIPS, you know we are asking for help. It’s credible. It’s reliable. People have faith in it now.”
It’s a simple process. A person can either call or go online to www.mcallencrimestoppers.org to send in a tip.
“If we work the tip and it results in an arrest or recovery of some sort where we think the information is rewardable, McAllen Police will make a recommendation the tipster receives the reward,” he said. “McAllen Crime Stoppers will then vote and arrange for the reward to be paid.”
“We need the information they have to offer. Crime Stoppers is a vehicle by which we can get our requests out there and get answers,” he added
If all goes well and life is back to normal, McAllen Crime Stoppers will have its Viva McAllen Streets event August 8 at the McAllen Convention Center, a Run, Ride & Share to help support the organization.
“I find this is now an event people look forward to,” said Chief Rodriguez. “It’s an event Crime Stoppers needs to maintain the finances of the program for the year.”