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Crime Stoppers members hope to get more anonymous tips
WCN/WILLIAM J. GIBBS JR.• Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com
Assistant Chief Andy Joslin of the Floresville Police Department (from left), Chief Lambert Jendrzey and Sgt. Troy Phillips of the Poth Police Department, and Chief Bobby Hyatt of the La Vernia Police Department are among those representing Wilson County’s law-enforcement agencies at the Crime Stoppers of Wilson County meeting Feb. 11.
Wilson County NewsFebruary 17, 2009 9,288 views 14 comments
Since its inception in 1992, Crime Stoppers of Wilson County has brought about the arrest of 59 suspects, the recovery of $76,727 in stolen property, and the seizure of $3,760 worth of narcotics.
But board President Marrie Aldridge and her fellow members of the Crime Stoppers’ board of directors want more, which is why the board invited representatives from various levels of law enforcement to its Feb. 11 meeting. Commanding officers from all five of the county’s police agencies -- the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and police departments from the Floresville Independent School District and the cities of Floresville, La Vernia, and Poth -- were among those attempting to figure out how to encourage more people to supply anonymous tips about criminal activity.
Aldridge, a retired Texas Ranger, suggested that Crime Stoppers’ policy of not accepting collect telephone calls might have to change because the policy might be preventing inmates at facilities such as the Wilson County Jail from making tip calls.
Anonymous calls to Crime Stoppers’ 24-hour hot line at 830-393-INFO (4636) are answered by dispatchers in the sheriff’s office, Aldridge said. When a dispatcher receives the call, information supplied by the caller is written on a tip sheet. The information collected is then given to the proper authorities and a cash reward is paid if the information leads to an arrest or conviction.
Law-enforcement officers and their families, crime victims and their families, and those working as confidential informants are not eligible for a reward.
But as sure as Crime Stoppers needs participation, it also needs money, which is why Andy Flores of the county’s adult probation office inquired about how much Crime Stoppers receives some from probationers.
Wilson County offenders who are given probation are required to pay a $50 one-time fee to Crime Stoppers. Of that total, 80 percent is allocated to reward payouts.
Flores alleged that Crime Stoppers could potentially be missing a lot of revenue opportunities because roughly 75 percent of cases handled by the county attorney’s office result in a pretrial diversion. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Web site, pretrial diversion allows a suspect to waive his or her right to a speedy trial in exchange for a supervised probationary arrangement that may include community service but does not include payments to Crime Stoppers.
Members of Crime Stoppers of Wilson County’s board of directors:
•Johnie Deagen, program
•Marrie Aldridge, president
•Ralph Gerhardt, vice president
•Ann Cooper, treasurer
•Sharon Moy, secretary
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