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CRIME STOPPERS HISTORY

Crime Stoppers began in 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A young man working at a filling station had been shot and killed during a robbery, but the local police made little headway in their investigation. Detectives believed those responsible for the crime were local people and that somebody must have information, but for some reason was unwilling to speak to the police.

After six weeks, an officer thought of a ‘hotline’ for callers to pass on information anonymously. He persuaded local businesses to finance the scheme and a television station to publicize it. Within 72 hours of the broadcast, information led to the arrest of the murderers. Information about many other crimes, some of which had not been reported to the police, was also received on the hotline.

In the 20 years since the program started in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Crime Stoppers has grown to more than 950 community programs around the world. Almost a half million crimes have been solved and approximately $3 billion of stolen property and drugs have been recovered.

In Polk County, Crime Stoppers is a partnership that has been in operation since 1987.