"We are solving about 30 percent more crimes than usual this year and need to raise some money for the tipsters," said Tom Panagon, a Memphis trucking executive and Crime Stoppers board member.
Crime Stoppers is not a part of Memphis city or Shelby County government. It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which relies on public donations to fund its tipster program.
The organization shared its November 2016 payouts with WMC Action News 5 (with tipster names redacted) that total $13,950. In an average month, Panagon says Crime Stoppers pays tipsters around $9,000. Tips to Crime Stoppers hotline (901) 528-CASH solved four murders and 33 other felony crimes that month including aggravated assaults, carjackings, and robberies. In solving those 37 cases, most of the tips led to the arrests of fugitives who were at large in the community and a threat to citizens.
"Police Director Rawlings views Crime Stoppers as an extremely important tool in MPD efforts to fight crime in Memphis," said Panagon, one of eighteen Crime Stoppers board members who work with Executive Director E. Winslow "Buddy" Champan, a former MPD Director, to raise tipster funds to help solve crimes.
You can sign your team up here for the Aug. 7 golf outing that will tee off at 8:30 a.m. For more information, contact the Crime Stoppers board member serving as tournament director Gary Paulson at firstname.lastname@example.org.