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Yuma mayor proclaims Crime Stoppers Month
Crime Stoppers has been active in some form in the Yuma community for over 30 years — most recently as 78-CRIME — and has helped solve hundreds of crimes.
So, as part of National Crime Stoppers month, Yuma Mayor Al Krieger, with several area law enforcement officials in attendance, officially declared January as Crime Stoppers Month Thursday afternoon by reading a proclamation inside the city council chambers.
Deb Sullins, Yuma Crime Stoppers president, explained that Crime Stoppers programs enable residents to anonymously report on crimes for cash rewards, helping put criminals behind bars and assisting in crime reduction efforts.
“We are a nonprofit organization of volunteers and our main goal, along with all of Yuma-area law enforcement, is to make Yuma a safer place to live.”
The Yuma Crime Stoppers facilitates the 78-CRIME anonymous tip line. Last year, 78-CRIME had six cases with rewards paid out totaling $1,450. One local resident was rewarded with $500 for helping a Yuma police officer involved in a struggle.
“It's a very good partnership between law enforcement and the community,” said Lt. Darrin Simmons of the Yuma County Sheriff's Office. “There are a lot of people who are afraid to come forward with information they have and this, because it is anonymous, gives them a way to do it without fear of reprisal. They don't have to give their name and they can still help.”
San Luis Police Chief Arturo Ramos is very familiar with the program and the potential it has to help solve cases, saying he used it regularly back when he was a detective with the Phoenix Police Department.
Ramos said his department currently has three unsolved murder cases that he plans to bring to Crime Stoppers sometime in the near future.
“Hopefully the public will be able to call in and provide us with the tips we need to solves these crimes. These crimes haven't been worked on since before I became chief.”
After the mayor's proclamation Thursday, Sullins said Crime Stoppers is responsible for raising reward money through fundraising, soliciting donations and other events.
Sullins also said there are currently 10 people in the organization and they are looking for more people in the area communities who would like to become involved.
“Anyone who is interested can go to the organization's website at 78-crime.com or contact Sgt. Worthen at the Yuma Police Department,” Sullins said. “They can turn in an application, do a background check and possibly become a member of our organization. We would really like to have anyone who is interested in helping our community.”
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.