BROWARD COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS – MORE THAN JUST A TIP LINE
Crime in Broward County is something we cannot escape. As one of the largest sheriff’s offices in the country, we strive to promote crime prevention and public safety initiatives focused on protecting the citizens we serve. Crime Stoppers is a nationwide program that encourages citizens to report information they may have regarding criminal activity. Any tip leading to the arrest of a suspect is eligible for a reward up to $1,000.
The Crime Stoppers Program of Broward County started in 1981 to assist detectives in criminal investigations. The program is a non-profit 501(c) 3 and is overseen by the Crime Stoppers Council of Broward – a 35 member board consisting of non-active law enforcement and community leaders. The Crime Stoppers Program is housed at BSO headquarters and the tips are answered by BSO employees. All callers remain anonymous – we do not want your name, we need your information. Tips can be reported via telephone: 954.493.TIPS (8477) or toll free 1.866.493.TIPS, you may also text message your tips to 274637.
Broward County citizens have helped make BSO’s Crime Stoppers Unit consistently one of the nation’s top performers. With the help of the community, more cases have been solved, arrests made and property recovered. Since its inception, Crime Stoppers of Broward has cleared nearly 19,000 cases and tips have resulted in more than 11,000 arrests. A street value of more than $363 million worth of drugs, property, cash and weapons has also been recovered. To their recent credit, in February 2010, Crime Stoppers closed a 10-year old case where the tip led detectives to the identity, description and whereabouts of a suspect wanted for a homicide that occurred in 2000.
To date, Crime Stoppers of Broward County has paid more than $2.2 million in reward money to citizens who phoned us with tips. Reward money comes from the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund, which is overseen by the Florida Office of the Attorney General. Funds are collected from donations made by businesses and citizens, as well as a $20 Crime Stoppers Fund Fee, which is assessed to each person when they are arrested. The Crime Stoppers Board of Directors is also responsible for fundraising. Each year, they sponsor various events, including a golf tournament, the annual Crime Stoppers Gala and other events to fund the reward account.
Crime Stoppers also oversees special programs within Broward County, these include:
- Dead Beat Parents: Crime Stoppers will take tips on dead beat parents who are not paying child support as ordered by the court and forward the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. A reward of $200 may be paid to the tipster.
- Gun Stoppers: Crime Stoppers will pay $100 for the recovery of an illegally owned weapon and up to $1,000 for the arrest of a felon in possession of an illegally owned firearm. The purpose of the program is to lessen the prevalence of illegally carried firearms in Broward County and reduce gun violence.
- Illegal Dumping: Signs are posted at illegal dump sites and other areas to discourage illegal dumpers and to publicize the reward system. People who are caught illegally dumping are subject to fines and imprisonment.
- Student Crime Stoppers: Broward County students are encouraged to report crimes committed in or around their schools. If the tip leads to an arrest, the student could qualify for a cash reward of up to $100.
- Terrorism: As a direct result of the September 11th attacks, a reward of up to $15,000 may be collected for any information on person(s) who are planning terrorist activity.
- Kid Saver Fingerprinting: This program was developed to provide law enforcement with fingerprints and a photograph of children and the elderly in the event they should ever go missing. This program is made available to any community event in which children will be present.
Crime Stoppers focus is to create safer homes and safer communities. I am confident with their hard work and your tips, the Broward Sheriff’s Office will continue to assist in this mission through enforcement, crime prevention efforts and our public safety initiatives.
For more information about Broward County’s Crime Stoppers Program, visit www.browardcrimestoppers.org.
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