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