DENVER â€“ A program universally known for rewarding anonymous callers for help in solving crime is coming to Lincoln County.
During the recent meeting between Sheriff Tim Daugherty and members of the Denver business community, investigator Sgt. Lee Keller announced that Crime Stoppers will be coming to Lincoln County.
â€œThe program will be fully operational by the beginning of the 2007 school year,â€ said Keller. â€œItâ€™s an anonymous tip line where people can call tips into us.â€
Keller said the program provides an easier way for people to get information to the Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Office without revealing their identity.
Keller stressed the importance of support from across Lincoln County for the program.
â€œMoney from businesses go towards the rewards,â€ said Keller.
The Crime Stopper program began with a deadly New Mexico shooting in 1976 according to the Web site www.c-s-i.org.
Detectives investigating were stymied as to who shot the victim so they decided to recreate the shooting.
A reenactment of the crime led to a phone call, which led to the arrest of two suspects within 72 hours of the deadly shooting.
Today, there are over 1,000 Crime Stoppers programs worldwide.
Locally, Sgt. Keller said, in the last three months, 49 break-ins have been reported in Lincoln County along with 68 larcenies. Eleven of the break-ins have been solved.
Manpower at the LCOS is also an issue; there are seven investigators total with two assigned to the Denver area.
â€œThieves break into your house during the day and your business at night,â€ said Keller. â€œWe need your help to help us do our jobs.â€
Some suggestions by Keller to enable businesses to assist the LCSO included making sure all alarms and panic buttons are properly functioning and to mark all property with a serial number.
After making the announcement at the meeting that was designed to update east Lincoln businesses about the two recent armed robberies, a member of the audience asked Sheriff Daugherty how crimes in general stood this year over last.
â€œIâ€™ve looked at the overall numbers for the whole county,â€ said Daugherty. â€œCrime is up from last year.â€
by Jon Mayhew