Crime Stoppers relies on help from the streets as Cleveland violence climbs
The program has paid nearly $100,000 in reward money over the last five years in Cuyahoga County
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - For more than four decades, Crime Stoppers has played a key role in solving crimes throughout Cleveland and beyond.
That role has become even more prevalent as crime increases.
“We’re in the middle of an epidemic of violence,” said Captain Richard McIntosh. “Crime has become exceedingly vicious with carjackings, murders’, drive-by shootings, and assaults.”
The program, which started nationally in 1970′s, uses private donations and fundraising to offer rewards for virtually all types of crimes.
Up to $5,000 is available for information leading to arrests in homicides and gun-related crimes.
As much as $2,500 is available for others.
According to McIntosh, Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County has issued more than $100,000 in reward money over the last five years.
There is so much retaliatory shooting in Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland that people are looking for a way to provide information to the police, possibly receive a reward, but not have anybody know their name,” McIntosh told 19 News.
He added that the unit, which is operated by the Sheriff’s Office, has seen more people submit tips without claiming reward money.
“It may simply be the people who know about crimes today, just know that morally it’s right to turn people in,” he said. “The other side of the coin is that people are so afraid of retaliatory shooting they may just want to turn the tip in and have nothing to do with it again.
“Someone knows who’s doing those shooting. We need to pull those people off the street because they’re extremely violent. If they’re willing to shoot one person, they’re willing to shoot another.”
In the last five years, McIntosh said nearly 6,000 tips have come in, resulting in the arrest of 300 criminals.
“We can do part of it but you know who has to do the rest? The community. They have to provide the information. They have to say ‘we’re tired of this happening in our community and we’re going to do something about it.’”
Tips can be submitted anonymously by calling 216-252-7463 or by clicking here.
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