For the past several years, I had the privilege of serving as the Coordinator for the Greater Peoria Area Crime Stoppers organization. Founded in 1981 with the purpose of helping to develop a community action to fight crime, Crime Stoppers seeks to promote community welfare by assisting the various law enforcement agencies in the apprehension and conviction of criminals.
Over the years, I have worked with many great men and women who serve on the Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers. One of the biggest success stories came a couple of years ago when Peoria experienced many home invasions where multiple suspects were entering homes, tying up the homeowners, and then stealing high value items from their homes. As you can imagine, this was really a great concern throughout Peoria.
We filmed a reenactment of the crimes, and actually filmed it at a home in Pekin. The commercial began airing immediately and we received a tip which led Peoria Detectives to a home. As they pulled up, the suspects were already grabbing items because they were tipped off that the Police were coming. Detectives gave chase to the suspects on foot, and were able to capture part of the crew that day with some of the stolen items. Peoria Detectives were quickly able to arrest the entire crew of 4 who had terrorized many Peoria residents. Not only did the caller get a hefty reward, but that tip led to Police to catching the suspects red handed.
As a Police Officer, I can tell you that there are many crimes that go unsolved due to lack of information and cooperation. Crime Stoppers is an extremely valuable tool for Law Enforcement agencies throughout Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties. There are many crimes that are solved due to information received through Crime Stoppers. It is very important that this organization continues to grow and expand as they assist us in our fight to protect life and property as Police Officers.
I hated to see my time with Crime Stoppers come to an end. There are so many great hard working men and women who make up the Board of Directors. They work hard to raise awareness of what Crime Stoppers is all about, and raise money for rewards. Since Crime Stoppers began in Peoria, we have paid out almost $500,000 in rewards, and have recovered $2,274,780 in stolen property, and $1,345,026 in drugs seized.
My last meeting was very meaningful to me. The Board presented me with a special gift (pictured below). I will always value my experiences with this organization, and will support them any way that I can in my future endeavors.