From humble beginnings in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1976, the Crime Stoppers program has grown in nearly four decades of existence to more than 1,100 separate programs across the country and around the world.
If you’re not already familiar with Pikes Peak Crime Stoppers, it’s a group of local volunteer businessmen and women who recognize that working hand-in-hand with law enforcement to lower the crime rate can benefit everyone.
Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers’ success is based on the simple assumption that someone other than the criminal has information about a crime.
The local Crime Stoppers utilizes television, radio, newspapers, billboards, bus stop benches and advertising publications to seek the help of local citizens by asking them to report information about a crime.
They can do this by calling 634-STOP (634-7867). Callers are assured of complete anonymity and, if their information results in an arrest, the caller will receive a cash reward.
Since its inception in 1981, Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers tips have resulted in more than 3,700 felony arrests leading to the recovery of over $10,000,000 in property, narcotics and cash.
Just in this Springs area, Crime Stoppers tips have resulted in the arrest of many who have committed crimes against retailers, financial institutions and other types of business. To protect the identity of those who call in tips, Crime Stoppers does not publicize arrests resulting from a tip.
The Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers program is the only agency providing an interface between law enforcement agencies and citizens who have knowledge of serious crimes and identities of individuals who committed those crimes.
Originally, Pikes Peak Crime Stoppers was taxpayer-supported but, due to cutbacks in the city budget, it now operates as a 501(c)3 organization staffed by volunteers.
Still, it continues to be an asset to law enforcement. Crime Stoppers relies on grants and donations from both individuals and business owners who recognize that a donation to Crime Stoppers is an investment in their own safety and security.
The office of Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers is located in the Colorado Springs Police Department headquarters, at South Nevada Avenue and Rio Grande Street south of downtown, in space provided at no cost by CSPD.
Pikes Peak Crime Stoppers volunteers act as a “force multiplier” for the CSPD because, by receiving and processing tips, they free up the limited resources of the Police Department to focus on other tasks.
It is estimated that every Crime Stoppers anonymous tip saves up to 100 hours of a police investigator’s time. Nationally, 95 percent of the arrests made as a result of a Crime Stoppers tip have resulted in a conviction.
Police Chief Pete Carey recently stated, “The Colorado Springs Police Department relies on the efforts of our local Crime Stoppers to keep the flow of information coming.”
While Pikes Peak Crime Stoppers routinely delivers tips directly to the CSPD, police officers will sometimes contact Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers looking for additional information about a particular crime against a business or gang-related tips.
Find out more about the organization at www.crimestop.net/, where you can find information about featured crimes and wanted criminals, or make a tax-deductible donation through PayPal.
Paul Campbell, a longtime advertising executive in Colorado Springs, serves as vice president of the Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers board of directors.