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Police Department

Nashville Crime Stoppers History

Introduction

All effective law enforcement programs require the concern and active participation and cooperation of the citizenry to succeed. No matter how well organized, equipped, energetic, or highly motivated a law enforcement agency may be, it can not function effectively in its fight against crime without the cooperation and involvement of its community. Without this cooperation and involvement, any crime prevention or crime reduction program is doomed to failure.

The police, working apart from the community, cannot be effective in combating crime. Neither can, nor should, the community expect the police to be successful in the solving of crime unless the members of the community, both individually and collectively, take an active and willing part in the solving of serious crimes. Yet, all too often, citizens with information concerning a serious crime choose not to get involved and do not come forward to police with the information, even when it could lead to the solution of the crime.

There are many reasons for the public's lack of involvement when it comes to aiding police in the investigation of a crime. In some cases the citizen does not come forward with useful information because they mistakenly believe that what they know about the crime is unimportant, or is already known to the police. In other cases the citizen may lack the knowledge of how or whom to contact in the police organization.

In many cases, the citizen does not come forward with information about a crime which has been committed out of fear of reprisal from the criminal and is consequently fearful of revealing his own true identity. Whatever the reason for this lack of public involvement, it has become necessary that some program or vehicle be designed that will address these reasons and that will encourage the citizen involvement that is so vital to effective law enforcement. It was with this in mind that the "Crime Stoppers" program has been developed.

"Crime Stoppers" is a program geared toward public involvement in the fight against crime by providing a vehicle that both permits and encourages citizens to effectively contribute to the safety of their community. "CRIME STOPPERS" is designed to achieve citizen interest and involvement through two methods:

  1. The dramatic re-enactment of an unsolved "crime of the week" to be included in a nightly television news broadcast, radio spots, and newspaper articles.
  2. The establishment of a reward system which will pay for information leading to the arrest and indictment (or prosecution, being bound over to the grand jury) of persons involved in felony crimes.

Through the "Crime Stoppers" program, the citizen becomes aware of the real impact of crime on the community and is continually encouraged to come forward with any information that might aid in the solution of serious crimes. When the citizen is motivated, for whatever reason, to assist the police, then the effectiveness of the police increases while the opportunity for the criminal to escape detection can only decrease.

Overview of the Crime Stoppers Program