Members of the local Crimestoppers say they are frustrated because they have $45,000 in their bank account, but no crimes to draw to the public’s attention.
But, the recent reward offered for a trailer and tools, valued at $30,000 did catch the public’s attention, and the trailer was recovered last week, said Gigi Parker, president of the local Crimestoppers group.
“We can continue to sit here in Quay County with our heads stuck in the sand, pretending we have a zero crime rate, or we can make use of our Crimestoppers and try to solve some of the crimes that we do have,” she said.
For Crimestoppers to be effective, it needs to be used by the area law enforcement agencies, such as state, county, and city, Parker said.
“Crimestoppers cannot do anything on its own. We can only act on the request of a law enforcement agency,” Parker said.
“Due to a lack of requests for funds from local area law enforcement agencies, it would appear that we have no crime in Tucumcari and Quay County,” Parker said.
For the past several administrations at the Tucumcari Police Department, Crimestoppers has not been used that frequently, said Police Chief Roger Hatcher.
Hatcher, who was named police chief in early February, said he has been consumed during his first two months with arranging for officer and dispatcher training, and working on the department’s annual budget and other administrative duties.
“We will use Crimestoppers. We need the eyes and the ears of the community to help us,” Hatcher said.
“I’d like to see the community help us with the vandalism cases,” Hatcher said.
Routinely, there are police reports of broken windows in vehicles, large storefront windows shot out or damaged from flying objects and other acts of vandalism.
Hatcher said Crimestoppers has not been a top priority, but that he has appointed an officer as a liaison who will be attending the group’s next meeting on May 20.
Notice of a crime does not have to be high profile, Parker said. “The main idea is to encourage people to come forward if they feel they have information that would be helpful in solving a crime.”
Money collected by Crimestoppers has been raised through fundraisers and is also a fee that some judges charge as part of court proceedings.
Crimestoppers purchased the police department’s canine unit, which it leases to the city for a $1 annual fee.
1. A crime has been committed
2. The law enforcement agency involved puts out a request for an ad through Crimestoppers, offering up to $1,000. for information leading to the arrest and indictment in said crime.
3. Tips are called in on a special, dedicated line, where the caller remains anonymous
4. If a tip leads to the arrest and indictment, money is paid to the informant.