Crimestoppers to ask city council for funding help

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Officials say the current economic crisis may be partly to blame for a steep decline in funding for CrimeStoppers in Memphis.  Now, CrimeStoppers is asking for help from the Memphis City Council.

Crimestoppers Executive Director Buddy Chapman said many of their corporate donors cut their donations in half this year.

"With the economic downturn, we find our donations either aren't coming in or those that are coming in are lower than they normally are," Chapman said.

Now, Chapman said, he is now asking the Memphis City Council for help.  Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin recently turned down $5 million from the council for overtime, saying he needed more officers, not overtime for his current ones.

Chapman said he hopes the city will give a portion of that money to help fund CrimeStoppers, which he said saves the city big bucks.  He said one example is the murder case of University of Memphis football player Taylor Bradford.

"A few days after the incident, we were able to tell them not only who committed the crime, but who else was involved," Chapman said.

Crimestoppers' other program, Trust Pays, works to keep schools safe by handing out cash to kids who report other kids with weapons, drugs, or violent plans. But without the cash, no one may ever know what they and other tipsters know.

Tips to Trust Pays have dropped as new policies have been implemented by MCS Superintendent Kriner Cash, but so far this year, tips have led authorities to find students with four knives and a gun.

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.