South KC Perspective
By John Sharp
Hundreds of people including retired Chiefs stars attended the 26th annual Crime Stoppers party at Arrowhead Stadium November 19 to celebrate the program’s 40 years of service to the metropolitan community and raise money for its anonymous TIPS Hotline that provides rewards for tips leading to filing charges or arrests in felony cases.
A program of the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission, Crime Stoppers was established here in 1982 and now averages nearly 5,000 anonymous tips annually to its TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477 or its website KCcrimestoppers.com, allowing the public to share information with law enforcement agencies about serious crimes without the threat of retaliation.
It has been credited with providing information leading to over 11,500 felony arrests, the capture of over 3,900 fugitives and solving 673 homicides through this October. It has paid out over $1.6 million in anonymous cash rewards since its inception.
In KCMO, rewards of up to $25,000 are available for tips leading to arrests or filing charges in homicide cases.
Lesser known than its regular program, Crime Stoppers has initiated a scholastic program in use by over 70 schools to encourage students to report safety threats such as students bringing weapons to school or planning to assault other students in order to prevent violence.
Students are encouraged to also report mental health issues that can lead to harm to the students involved or to others. The program has documented that such tips have prevented 19 suicides including two that were actually in progress and four involving middle schoolers.
To encourage more tips by students and others, Crime Stoppers has initiated the use of a new QR code that can be scanned with cell phones which takes people directly to the tips submission page on its website.
Schools or school districts that wish to participate in the scholastic program may contact Kevin Boehm, scholastic crime stoppers coordinator, at email@example.com
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