The Michiana Crime Stoppers program is nearly 30-years-old and in that time tips to Crime Stoppers have led to nearly 7,000 felony arrests. Now, a big change is coming to the program.
Crime Stoppers has always paid people to make anonymous tips that lead to the arrest of a felony fugitive. While the payout for those tips has not changed, how quickly the payout comes has. Quicker payouts are going to be made in hopes of leading to more tips and more arrests.
It is called the Speedy Rewards program.
You can still receive a cash reward through crime stoppers but in many cases you can get the reward a lot sooner.
In the past, rewards were determined by the board of directors at a bi-monthly meeting. If a person’s tip led to an arrest the individual would have to wait up to two weeks to collect their reward.
Now, if your tip leads to the arrest of a fugitive it is possible to receive the reward that day.
Michiana Crime Stoppers coordinator Lt. Cindy Kilgore says, “What we're doing now is as soon as I am made aware that a tip has led to an arrest I contact our executive board of directors via email, give them the pertinent information, and request authorization for a speedy reward. As soon as I get two of the board members to approve it, one will sign, what we now use instead of checks, a debit letter.”
Lt. Kilgore continues, “So far our quickest payoff was thirty minutes after the arrest was made.”
In the past, you could only pick up your cash reward at one bank in South Bend.
“Because our Michiana Crime Stoppers program covers 12 counties in Michiana, we added branch locations in Plymouth, Michigan City, Elkhart and St. Joe, Michigan. Now it covers a more representative area of our program and it will make it more convenient for our tipsters,” says Lt. Kilgore.
Currently the speedy rewards program only applies to fugitive cases.
If you go on the Michiana Crime Stoppers website there are dozens of fugitives that could mean quick cash if you know where they are.
Lt. Kilgore says, “The main reason we did this is we're always looking for ways to increase tips into our program. That is the measure of our success. I believe that when people are more instantly gratified with a cash reward, they're more likely to scour the scenery for another fugitive they may know.”
Crime Stoppers provides secure web and mobile tips and dedicated phone lines. The number to call is 288-STOP to allow those with information to contact police while staying completely anonymous.
The standard payout for turning in a fugitive is $100.