***Note to Crime Stoppers Tipsters***
Please remember in order to be considered for a reward you must call Michiana Crime Stoppers at (800) 342-STOP, or (574) 288-STOP or submit a web or smart phone tip. Our staff is normally here Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. After hours our Crime Stoppers Call Center takes tips. If the information is urgent, they will notify police. The Call Center does not have access to tip status information.
You may check on your tip during our staff hours by giving your "Tip Number". The person answering the phone will check the status in the computer. They will tell you if it's pending or closed, or if you're eligible for a reward. Remember, Crime Stoppers has to wait to get information back from law enforcement. Different types of crimes take longer to solve than others. It's not unusual to wait 4-6 weeks on a particular case. Sometimes the tipster knows of the arrest before we get verification from law enforcement.
The Phone Call
Calls are received at the Crime Stoppers tip-line phones, which do not have caller ID and we won't ask your name. The Crime Stoppers call taker receiving the information completes a tip information form, makes initial inquiries, and then passes the information to the investigating agency.
Our program would fail if we did not protect our callers' anonymity, and we won't let that happen! We work diligently to make sure a caller's identity is safe, and we are backed by case law at the Supreme Court level.
By guaranteeing a caller's anonymity, Crime Stoppers allows the caller to give information in a positive atmosphere without the fear of retribution. By offering cash rewards for information leading to indictment or arrests, the program encourages otherwise reluctant callers to provide information.
The OnlineTip - P3 Tips
Tipsters now have the option of giving us tips online. The process is completely secure and anonymous and is a very effective and efficient means of safely communicating with us in today's world. Our WebTip process is powered by the world's leading online tip solution provider, Anderson Software.
The very unique integrated Two-Way Dialog capabilities allow the tipster to come back and provide additional information to their tip at any time, but also provides a secure means for the coordinator to ask questions or provide reward information back to the tipster through the same secure and encrypted interface. Tipsters can even upload photos.
Facebook and Apps
It's never been easier to submit a secure tip. Now there is a link on our Facebook page to the same secure Web Tip server we use here. Also, iPhone and Android smart phone users can now get a free app utilizing the same server. Shop your app market for P3 Tips.
Structure and Funding of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stopper Programs are organized as not-for-profit organizations (Charity). A civilian community board of directors provides direction on financial and promotional activities for the program, and determines reward amounts.
Crime Stoppers is funded by private donations and fund raising. The reward money paid out by the program is from fund raising efforts, and donations from concerned citizens and businesses.
The board of directors, made up of persons from throughout the area, meets on a monthly basis to evaluate arrests and to decide on the size of rewards to be paid, up to $2,500. Rewards are then distributed in a private manner to the tipsters. Callers are eligible for rewards up to $2,500, but despite this, many callers choose not to collect their rewards.
How Rewards are Paid
When a tip leads to an arrest or indictment it is presented to the board of directors at the next monthly meeting. The board determines a reward amount (with the exception of SPEEDY REWARDS) and a debit letter is transmitted to the bank branch chosen by the tipster. Only specific bank branches are utilized in South Bend, Plymouth, Michigan City, Elkhart, and St. Joseph, MI. When a reward is earned, the tipster will be given instructions on how to collect, and will never have to provide identification.
Rewards must be collected within one year of the tip reward approval date. After one year the tip reward is no longer eligible to be collected.
Does Crime Stoppers Work?
Since the start of the Michiana Crime Stoppers program (formerly South Bend Area Crime Stoppers), thousands of calls have been received resulting in over 7,646 arrests and the recovery of over $17.4 million in stolen property and narcotics. Calls have included information about murder, robbery, rape, assaults, drug and firearm offenses. Crime Stoppers has assisted in the closure of more than 9,361 cases and has paid out more than $995,000 in rewards!
Crime Stoppers is definitely here to stay. It has been accepted by police as a valid and effective investigative tool, and by the public, as evident by the overwhelming response.