Friday, February 7, 2014

TIPS Hotline reward doubles to up to $2,000

If you haven’t already heard, I’m very happy to share the news that anonymous tipsters can now be rewarded with up to $2,000 for submitting information that leads to an arrest in a felony crime.

Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers announced this change last week. Since the organization’s founding in 1982, the largest amount a tipster could receive was $1,000. (Supplemental rewards are still available. This is when a victim’s family or friends raise money for additional reward money in their loved one’s case.)

Ideally, everyone would tell police any information they have about a crime. But many people in our community don’t do that. Our department is working to build the trust to open up the lines of communication. But there are some who are genuinely scared of the repercussions they might face from their social circle if they’re seen providing information to police. That’s where the TIPS Hotline, 816-474-TIPS, is so valuable. It allows residents to submit information anonymously.

Tipsters are issued a code number when they first call in with a tip (or when they submit it by text message or online). They call back with their code number to see whether their tip has led to an arrest, and if so, they are issued the reward in cash. Then entire process is anonymous.

The reward money provides a good incentive to those who might otherwise be reluctant to call. And now there’s double the incentive. I’d like to thank the generous donors who support Crime Stoppers. They have made this $2,000 reward possible. Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers has cleared more than 24,070 felony cases in their three-plus decades, including 609 homicides. They’ve paid out more than $1.27 million in rewards. The TIPS Hotline is an invaluable resource for our detectives, and I look forward to the doubled amount of reward money bringing in even more tips.

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