Texas Crime Stoppers
Texas Crime Stoppers organizations are community-based partnerships formed by dedicated citizens, law enforcement, and the media. They work together toward a common goal: the reduction of crime and the arrest and conviction of criminals and fugitives statewide. Local Crime Stoppers organizations are designed to serve as a vehicle for citizens to relay criminal information to law enforcement agencies while remaining anonymous. Since inception in 1981, Texas Crime Stoppers has grown from 8 certified organizations to approximately 150 certified community and campus organizations. These organizations are run by dedicated volunteers, making it a cost effective tool in preventing and solving crime.
Local Crime Stoppers organizations are designed to achieve citizen interest and involvement in three ways:
- Establishing reward systems that pay for information leading to the arrest or charges filed on persons involved in crimes, and
- Selecting an unsolved “Crime of the Week” featured by reenactment in nightly television news broadcasts, radio spots, and newspaper articles.
Certified Community Organizations
Comprised of a 15 to 25 member civilian board of directors, broadly representing the community, oversees general organizations operations and administers funds received through public contributions. The board may perform some or all of the following duties: set policies which establish and regulate the organization; raise funds to pay rewards and cover administrative costs; set payment schedules and methods, and act as trustee of funds contributed by citizens, businesses, and service groups in the community. Generally, the treasurer is designated to arrange reward payments for tipsters.
A law enforcement officer is designated as the Coordinator by the participating law enforcement agency. The Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day organization operations and serves as liaison between the law enforcement agency, the board of directors, and media outlets. Other law enforcement officers may be assigned to assist the Coordinator with daily organization operations, if needed.
An increase in crime and violence on our university and public school campuses prompted forming campus Crime Stoppers organizations in Texas. In an effort to empower the academic community, Campus Crime Stoppers has been established to provide an alternative means to solving and reducing crime in schools.
Campus Crime Stoppers can help PREVENT potentially dangerous and illegal activity from taking place at school. Reports of bullying, cyberbullying, self-inflicted harm (suicide), vandalism, sexual misconduct, stolen property, drugs, and weapons can all be reported through the tip lines. Texas Crime Stoppers has created a way to overcome fear and apathy by paying cash rewards and guaranteeing anonymity.
There are two ways a campus program can be established and operated in Texas:
- As an umbrella program (with bylaws) of an existing community Crime Stoppers program, preferably one that is certified by the Texas Crime Stoppers Council, or
- As an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation consistent with the above referenced law and certified by the Texas Crime Stoppers Council.
About Texas Crime Stoppers State Team
The Texas Crime Stoppers team at the Office of the Governor is a dynamic unit dedicated to providing support and assistance to over 2000 volunteers and law enforcement coordinators across Texas. Passionate and motivated, the state team provides a series of services to Texas Crime Stoppers Organizations including; oversight and technical assistance to community and campus organizations, manages Crime Stoppers Assistance Funds, plans and facilitates annual Crime Stoppers training courses and conferences, provides customized training and support to organizations upon request; and aids in building unity across all organizations throughout the state via social media and communication initiatives.
About Texas Crime Stoppers Council
In the spring of 1981, the 67th Texas Legislature passed H.B. 1681 creating the Crime Stoppers Council within the Criminal Justice Division of the OOG to promote the establishment of local Crime Stoppers organizations throughout the state. The council consists of five members appointed by the governor to four-year terms. Since its inception, Texas Crime Stoppers has grown from eight certified organizations to nearly 150 certified organizations in operation today, serving in both communities and school campuses throughout Texas.
About Department of Public Safety Partnership and Organizations
In addition to their community and campus organizations across the state, the Texas Crime Stoppers team at the Office of the Governor has a partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety “Most Wanted Programs.” These programs identify most wanted fugitives and sex offenders in Texas. Since 2014, the number of Texas DPS partnership programs have grown to include Texas Stash House Rewards, Texas Fallen Hero Rewards and Unique Incidents Reward offerings (i.e. explosive package case, I-35 rock throwing, Governor’s Mansion fire, etc.)