Crime Stoppers uses incentives to stop misdeeds

By Dave Gong

The DeKalb County Crime Stoppers division has made 971 arrests from its inception in May 1982 to Dec. 31, 2010, said Det. Jeremy Grubbs of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

The arrests were made based on information gained from tips received from DeKalb County citizens, Grubbs said.

Crime Stoppers is an international resource for law enforcement agencies through which citizens can call in and anonymously report crimes that have occurred or are ongoing, Grubbs said.

Crime Stoppers extends its services to every town in the county, including DeKalb, Sycamore, Genoa, Kingston and Hinckley, Grubbs said.

“We work with DeKalb city [police], Sycamore Police and just about every [law enforcement] agency in the county,” Grubbs said. “It’s an effective law enforcement tool.”

While the DeKalb County division of Crime Stoppers deals mostly with people residing in DeKalb County, Grubbs said the organization also works with other counties regarding information about crimes that have occurred within DeKalb County.

DeKalb Mayor Kris Povlsen said because Crime Stoppers mainly works directly with the county, the City of DeKalb cooperates with the program by posting signs and encouraging citizens to get involved.

“It’s a great opportunity for individuals who see crime to get involved,” Povlsen said. “All too often the citizenry think the government should just take care [of the problem].”

NIU Police Sgt. Alan Smith said the NIU Police Department will follow up on Crime Stoppers tips if they are forwarded to the department.

“It’s always good when we have people submit tips so we can follow up on them,” Smith said. “It shows that the community is working together to stop crime.”

Smith said aside from Crime Stoppers reports, NIU Police receives numerous tips from students and community members. Crime Stoppers offers up to $1,000 in awards for citizens who provide information that leads to an arrest in an investigation. Law enforcement officers are not eligible to receive these awards, Grubbs said.

Since 1982, Crime Stoppers in DeKalb County has paid out over 2,236 awards to citizens who have provided information to the service amounting to $185,550, Grubbs said. Since 1982, $1 million worth of evidence has been recovered based on tips received by Crime Stoppers and resulting arrests in DeKalb County.

According to the Illinois Crime Stoppers website, there have been 117,960 arrests made state-wide since the program’s inception, as well as a state-wide total of $6,324,594 in awards paid to citizens providing information. A total of $152,249,840 in property has also been recovered since the state-wide Crime Stoppers program began.

Grubbs said there are two ways citizens can provide Crime Stoppers with tips. The first is by phone: Citizens can call DeKalb County Crime Stoppers at (815)895-3272. The second is through email at Callers may remain anonymous and reward money can be paid anonymously, Grubbs said.