Crime Stoppers, the anonymous 528-CASH tip line, has a proven record of helping solve crimes. A Crime Stoppers tip led to the recent arrest of a suspect in the murder of Emily Klyce Fisher nine years ago, but the non-profit agency's director says more crimes could be solved with more money for tipsters.
Crime Stoppers says 50 percent of the felonies in Memphis and Shelby County get solved by anonymous calls to 528-CASH
"It's designed specifically to get the 15% of the people who commit 70% of the crimes, primarily the felonies, off the streets," said exrecutive director Walter Crews of Crime Stoppers. A former Memphis police director, Walter Crews runs Crime Stoppers, a non-profit agency that actively recruits tax deductible donations.
Crews says he'd like to see Crime Stoppers increase its awards which ranges up to a thousand dollars, depending on the severity of the crime.
"If you're able to offer more awards, you perhaps will garner more tips," Crews said.
Memphis Crime Stoppers got a boost recently from John Walsh of America's Most Wanted, who made a promo taht said: "Are you tired of crime? Fed up with murder, theft, assault? Thugs ruining your neighborhood, endangering your family, your children? If you know the whereabouts of somebody who's committed a crime, call Crime stoppers 24 hour hotline: 528-CASH."
Crime Stoppers hopes this spot brings more tips. Crews says a bigger budget could help focus on helping to stop crime trends.
"We could maybe target certain types of crimes: crimes against the elderly, crimes against women, identity theft, where we could offer individualized programs and offer those tipsters more money," Crews said.
Crime Stoppers could only increase its awards and thereby, possibly attract better tips, with a bigger budget.