Crime doesn’t pay, but helping law enforcement solve crimes can. Crime Stoppers of Great Bend and Barton County has been offering cash rewards for anonymous tips since 1984, and this week awarded $500 for information on a drug-related crime, board member Jere Buehler said.
The Crime Stoppers Board of Directors met Tuesday and also presented a total of $500 in Great Bend Chamber of Commerce gift certificates to five winners of a drawing. Entries for the drawing were collected during the Great Bend Farm, Ranch & Hemp Expo.
Crime Stoppers provides an avenue for citizens to provide information to local law enforcement, remain completely anonymous and receive a monetary reward of up to $1,000. Tips can be made 24 hours a day by calling 620-792-1300 or, for toll-free calls outside of Great Bend, 888-305-1300. The phone is answered by an independent call center, Crime Scene Information (CSI), that specializes in calls for Crime Stopper programs across the nation, Buehler said. The line has no caller ID and no voice mail features.
In 2010, the local Crime Stoppers added new technology that allows people to leave tips via the internet. A mobile app called P3 Tips is available on the iOS and Android platforms. While still anonymous, this app allows tipsters to upload images, video and documents. Even without the app, online tips can be made from any PC or mobile browser by going to the website p3tips.com.
Buehler said the COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on the number of tips Crime Stoppers received in the past year. “They slowed down considerably,” he said. However, they are starting to pick up the pace, and crime hasn’t gone away.
By the numbers
Since its inception in 1984 through May 3, 2021, Crime Stoppers has received tips that led to:
• 472 arrests
• 430 cases cleared
• $95,750 rewards paid
• 5 homicides solved
• Arsons with a total loss of $200,000 solved
• Property valued at $1,070,540 recovered
• Drugs valued at $1,174,850 seized
How it works
Anyone who witnesses a crime, has information on a crime, or has a concern that a crime might take place is welcome to contact Crime Stoppers. Callers should NOT give their names.
A Crime Stoppers motto is “We don’t want your name, just your information.” Tips MUST remain anonymous to be eligible for a reward.
Each tipster will be given a Crime Stoppers identification number that should be remembered and not shared with anyone else. The tipster will also be given a timeline to call back and check on the result of the information shared. At some point, the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors will meet and discuss how important the information was in solving a crime, the amount of drugs taken off the streets or the amount of property recovered. If a case merits a reward, the tipster will be notified during a callback to Crime Stoppers (still using the secret ID number). Anyone who received a reward will be directed to a local financial institution where he or she will give the code number and will then receive an envelope with cash in it.