Board member Gary Temple Sr. of the Marinette County Crime Stoppers, Inc. was a guest of Ken Conners, News Director of Bay Cities Radio and the “Talk of the Town” program on December 19, 2013. The following is the past, present and future of Crime Stoppers starting with:
The Crime Stoppers Story
Two criminals shot down a young University of New Mexico student at a gas station in July, 1976. They didn’t realize that they would be responsible for a world-wide anti-crime movement that has resulted in the solution of more than ½ million crimes. They also didn’t realize that the results of their killing, more than 75,000 criminals would find themselves behind bars.
A Detective from the Albuquerque’s Police Department was assigned this case. After several weeks of investigation, he was no closer than they were the night of the killing.
Out of desperation, this detective contacted a local TV station and as asked if they could reenact the crime in one of his newscasts. The thought was that this reenactment may trigger the memory of a potential witness. On September 8, 1978, the first reenactment was broadcast on the 10 o’clock news. The next morning, the detective received a call from a young man who saw two young men in an automobile after he heard a loud bang. This information was the missing link and the police agency was able to trace the car back to the gunmen. It only took 72 hours to solve this murder after they had received the caller’s tip; six other armed robberies were also solved as the results of their investigation.
This detective convinced the Albuquerque’s Police Department they needed this program on a regular basis. However many residents were reluctant to provide information for two reasons, fear– and apathy.
Crime Stopper was formed to overcome these two barriers with a system that would allow callers to remain anonymous and for the citizens who were apathetic; a system that would provide cash rewards for information leading to the solution of a major crime.
In order to provide civilian oversight of the program, a citizen board of directors would be formed. Participants would be housewives, retired persons, professionals etc. All working for a common goal to make Crime Stoppers successful.
Since the inception of Crime Stoppers in 1978, World-Wide Crime Stoppers have recovered over 3 billion dollars’ worth of stolen property and narcotics and solving more than 500 thousand crimes.
Marinette County Crime Stoppers was incorporated in 1991. We are part of the 49 programs of the State Crime Stoppers of Wisconsin.
We are also a part of 346 programs in Crime Stoppers USA, and 1186 programs in 24 countries with Crime Stoppers International.
A business man from Menominee contacted me several months ago and asked if the UP had a Crime Stoppers program. He, being an owner of a business in Michigan wanted to get involved in fighting crime and as a financial supporter.
We contacted the Wisconsin State Crime Stoppers Association and found out that there was no Crime Stoppers in the U.P.
The great news is that Crime Stoppers of Marinette County, Inc. is now serving Marinette County and Menominee County Michigan.
We have the total support from Menominee County Sheriff, Menominee Chief of Police and their staff. We also have three Menominee volunteer citizens on our Board of Directors along with law enforcement advisors from Menominee, Marinette and the City of Peshtigo. Crime Stoppers of Marinette and serving Menominee, Mi. is a 501 (c)( 3) non-profit organization.
The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT) has partnered with Crime Stoppers of Marinette County Inc. to extend crime fighting technologies into Menominee County, Mich.
“The TipSoft™ software program that SNBT helped fund in 2012 has been widely successful. So far, the response has exceeded our expectations, and we have solved many cases from people utilizing text tips. Due to its popularity in Marinette County, the organization sought the help of SNBT to bring new enhancements to the program that would provide the same features in Menominee County as well.
One of the expenses associated with the TipSoft™ program, which allows residents to submit truly anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers through the Internet, text messages, or mobile applications, is its communications services called Crime Scene Information (CSI). It provides 24/7 communication services, local line transfer, statistical reports, web tip monitoring, and message service. SNBT again offered to donate nearly $2,000 to cover the cost of this enhancement. Now that the new technology is in place, both Marinette County and Menominee County can send anonymous tips regarding criminal activity in either community.
Quick 50 program
With the help of Sgt. Brian Helfert of the Menominee Sheriff’s Department, officers from the Menominee Police Department, Detective Dan Miller and deputy Fred Popp from the Marinette Sheriff Department and Crime Stoppers civilian board members from both counties we had visited all the Jr and Sr high schools in Marinette and Menominee counties to promote the Quick 50 program.
The Quick 50 is geared to the students of our area high schools.
The purpose is to reduce school violence and to promote a safe environment. Any student that observes alcohol, drugs, weapons or bomb threats, can report this to his or her school official. The school official will contact Crime stoppers and receive a code number. If the tip is valid, the student will get $50 from Crime stoppers.
I have been a member of the board for 13 years. It’s is very exciting to see both counties getting together for a single cause – Stamp out Crime. Crime does not have any borders. In addition, I would love to have a tip for a cold case and present that tipster with $1,000.