Put simply, Crime Stoppers is a three part approach to solving crime in our community. Champaign County Crime Stoppers relies on cooperation between the police, the media, and the general public to provide a flow of information about crime and criminals to local law enforcement!
Crime Stoppers Hotline - 217-373-TIPS (8477)
Calls are received on the local Crime Stoppers tips line (217-373-TIPS). All calls to this phone line are electronically scrubbed of all caller ID information and answered by a professional answering service (NOT the police) specially trained to take Crime Stoppers calls. The person receiving your information completes a tips information form, makes initial inquiries and then passes the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Tips are accepted on ANY criminal activity, whether a publicized "Crime of the Week", unsolved crime, wanted criminal, fugitives, or any crime or potential crime the caller has information about.
By guaranteeing the caller's anonymity Champaign County Crime Stoppers encourages you to provide any information you might have. Many small tips to crime stoppers have directly led to solving a case. Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward for any information that leads to an arrest. Crime Stoppers has found this cash incentive sometimes encourages otherwise reluctant callers to provide information.
Tipsters also have the convenient option of providing tips online via this website. This process is completely secure and anonymous and is a very effective and efficient means of safely communicating with Crime Stoppers.
Structure and Funding of Crime Stoppers
Champaign County Crime Stoppers is a local non-profit organization. A local community board of directors operates the program and directs the program's financial and promotional activities, along with approving rewards. The board of directors enhances the community involvement aspect, and its function is vital to the programs success.
Champaign County Crime Stoppers is funded by fees collected from convicted criminals by local courts, fundraising events, grants, and private donations. The rewards paid out by the program are only possible due to the support of our community.
The board of directors, made up of volunteers from across Champaign county, meets monthly to evaluate tips that led to arrests and to decide on the size of rewards to be paid. Cash rewards are distributed to eligible tipsters in a private, anonymous manner. Tipsters are eligible for rewards, but many tipsters choose not to collect their rewards.
Does Crime Stoppers Work?
In a word - YES! Since the start of Champaign County Crime Stoppers, thousands of calls have been received resulting in thousands of arrests and recovery of millions of dollars of property. Tips to Champaign County Crime stoppers have led to the solving thousands of serious crimes, including murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, assaults, drug and firearm offenses.
The success of Champaign County Crime Stoppers cannot be purely judged on statistics, however, other benefits have come to notice:
Champaign County Crime Stoppers is definitely here to stay! We have been accepted and acknowledged by local law enforcement as a valid and effective investigative tool. Through its overwhelming response, we know the public has also accepted it as an easy, safe, anonymous way to provide information to police.