Crime Stoppers Holds Annual Training Conference in Biloxi

Many times, law enforcement agencies seek the public’s help to solve a crime, and while you have to give your name when calling the police, an alternative route is Crime Stoppers, an organization that collects anonymous tips. Thursday, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety held its annual Crime Stoppers training conference at the IP Casino in Biloxi. Stop a crime. Report it. Get paid. This is the slogan for Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers.

Crime Stoppers is an organization that encourages the public to call in with tips on crimes in their community by phone or by web. If the tip leads to an arrest, those who provided the tip could be awarded up to $1,000. The reward amount is determined by how valuable the tip is. Tricia Harbour, Executive Director of the Crime Stoppers Division of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, says, "As an example, let’s say we have a murder and we have a tip called in from an eye witness that actually saw the murder take place at that time and location, that tip would be more valuable."

One of the biggest draws to Crime Stoppers is the concept of anonymity. People can provide tips without giving their name. Captain Jim Adamo of the Biloxi Police Department says, "They have to live there every day. They may not feel comfortable giving us information because they’re afraid for retaliation purposes or whatever. There’s a whole host of reasons that they won’t come forward with information, but the important thing is we get the information that we can act on it."

Thursday, law enforcement agencies from across the state joined together for the Department of Public Safety’s Crime Stoppers Training Conference. This annual conference allows officers from different areas to put their heads together directly with Crime Stoppers officials to see how they can better work together to solve problems affecting their respective communities.

Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department says, "Sometimes you can get weary in well doing. It’s good to come and get a little shot of adrenaline and see what others are doing and then go back to your community and try to implement new ideas to keep your program fresh and to keep Crime Stoppers an effective tool in the toolbox for the community to fight crime.”

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