Breckenridge Texan

Crime Stoppers coming to Breckenridge, Stephens County

Crime Stoppers coming to Breckenridge, Stephens County
March 27
07:18 2019

Breckenridge and Stephens County residents will soon have a way to provide anonymous tips on unsolved crimes in the area and receive cash rewards for their information through Crime Stoppers.

Stephens County TX Crime Stoppers was organized after a meeting earlier this year between local citizens, clergy, judges, the district attorney’s office, city and county officials and law enforcement representatives about fighting crime in the Breckenridge area.

Virgil Moore III, who is president of the new non-profit group, said during the meeting that the law enforcement representatives told them the number one thing the community could do to help combat crime in the area was to start a Crime Stoppers program. He said they told them one of the problems with getting people to provide tips on crimes is they are afraid of retribution or getting threats for providing the tips. By providing the tips through Crime Stoppers, callers’ tips will be completely anonymous and they could receive a cash award up to $1,000.

Moore said that while setting up the program they’ve been working with Eastland County which has had a Crime Stoppers program for more than 20 years now.

How it will operate

Crime Stoppers’ main purpose is to provide law enforcement with tips to help solve local crimes and to provide money to pay for the tips and to promote Crime Stoppers, Moore said.

He said the actual service of taking the anonymous tips from phone calls, emails, text or other contact methods will be hired out to an out-of-town company that has professional training and expertise in handling Crime Stoppers tips and information. He said by hiring professionals to handle the tips, the information collected will be more accurate since they know what kinds of questions to ask to get the correct information. He said they will also be available all the time to take tips.

Once they receive a tip, the information will then be sent to the Breckenridge Police Department or the Stephens County Sheriff Department, both of which have local coordinators who will work with Crime Stoppers.

He said the amount of the reward, which can be up to $1,000 for a tip, will depend on a formula used by law enforcement to determine several aspects of the tip to decide how much the tip is worth. For example, tips for more serious crimes or tips that solve multiple crimes may provide a higher reward. Then, the person providing the tip will be provided information on how to collect their reward while remaining anonymous.

Moore said the Breckenridge Economic Development Corporation and the Breckenridge Industrial Foundation provided the seed money to get the organization going and to pay for the tips for the first year.

About the group

Stephens County TX Crime Stoppers  is a 501 (c ) (3) non-profit corporation that is governed by a board of 15 local people. Moore said they’re just in the beginning stages of setting up the program and it could still be several months before they get all the paperwork approved and get it going.

In April, Moore and another board member, along with the local coordinators from the Breckenridge Police Department or the Stephens County Sheriff Department will attend a two-day training session on operating the program.

The organization is setup as a membership organization that anybody can join. Moore said there is no fee to join and all somebody has to do to join is agree to support the Stephens County TX Crime Stoppers. Members can provide them with their name and phone number to receive information on what’s going on with Crime Stoppers. He said that later they plan to set up additional ways to communicate with members through social media outlets such as Facebook.

“There will be no charge for membership in the Crime Stoppers,” he said. “We just want to show support for local law enforcement through the organization in solving crimes.”

Stephens County TX Crime Stoppers Board of Directors

The current Board of Directors for Crime Stoppers Stephens County TX includes: Officers: Virgil Moore III, President; Kevin King, Vice President; J. B. Sparks, Secretary; David Duggan, Treasurer; and members Carolyn Moore, Tonya McKenzie, Donna Wade, Neal Edwards, Jon Jackson, Bo Asher, Tim Pesch, Kessa Compton, Dennis Davis, Chris Windsor and Scott Harris.

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

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