HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html 1-800-222-8477 T-I-P-S Is Worth The Call
Pubdate: Fri, 07 Jun 2002
Source: Chilliwack Progress (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Chilliwack Progress
Author: Penny Lett

1-800-222-8477 (T-I-P-S) IS WORTH THE CALL

The timing couldn't be better.

On Friday (May 31), the new Chilliwack Court House was officially 
opened. Scant weeks before that, the Chilliwack and District Crime 
Stoppers Association was awarded the Productivity Award for 2001 by 
the B.C. Crime Stoppers Advisory Board - for the second year in a row.

"That means, through tips received involving our area, the Chilliwack 
Association had the greatest monetary value of property recovered, 
with the least amount of payout," says local president, Ian Smith.

It also happens that, this year, marks the 10th anniversary of the 
founding of Crime Stoppers in Chilliwack. And the numbers are 

Believe it or not, telephone tips called in concerning the Chilliwack 
area have, in 10 years, resulted in the recovery of $9,624,510 worth 
of drugs, and $2,546,377 worth of other property. Also, from the 
2,250 tips received in that time, 129 monetary awards were approved 
totaling $36,905. Five hundred and forty-seven arrests were made.

"Interestingly, many callers don't want money for their tip," says 
Mr. Smith. "That's not the reason they call."

For those who do wish the cash reward, the maximum payout is $2,000. 
And any payout is made only after a 'tip' results in an arrest and 
charges being laid.

Mr. Smith first became interested in Crime Stoppers after his 
friend's wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident at Island 22. Six 
months later, the police had done all they could, and had reached an 
apparent dead end.

"It was a Crime Stoppers call that resulted in the arrest and 
conviction of the driver," says Mr. Smith. "And, in that case, that 
was solving murder!"

The purpose of Crime Stoppers is to encourage everyone to be a crime 
fighter - without having to change in telephone booths, or put on a 
shirt with a huge red 'S' on the chest. Through using Crime Stoppers, 
callers need not even go to court as a witness.

"Crime Stoppers is all about anonymity," says Mr. Smith. "Each caller 
is given a secret code, tipster number. The caller can then call back 
at a certain time and, by giving this number, get an update on the 
particular case."

Crime Stoppers uses no call display, no *69, and no audio tapes. 
Callers are paid anonymously, in cash.

Each Crime Stoppers Association is responsible for raising its own 
reward funds. Traditionally, the Chilliwack group counts on the 
annual November Old Timers vs. The Legends of Hockey game. Other 
money comes from service groups or individuals.

"Another nice thing is that anyone calling Crime Stoppers, deals 
immediately with trained live operators," says Mr. Smith. "There is 
no going through any form of automated reception or call sorting."

Last year, the toll-free number of 1-800-222-8477, went North 
American wide. Calls involving the 43 programs in B.C., from across 
country or from as far south as Florida, are all answered at the 
Jarvis Centre in Kelowna, B.C. The responding operator can tell which 
part of the country the call is coming from, and deals with it 

The Crime Stoppers line is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"There's no question that Crime Stoppers is an effective tool in 
fighting crime," concludes Mr. Smith. "Though most of the tips are 
concerning drugs, even if marijuana is legalized, Crime Stoppers 
won't be put out of business."

Over the years, the Chilliwack Crime Stoppers Association has, on 
behalf of its community, repeatedly received official recognition for 
its work. Now, its members are looking for a temporary or permanent 
venue at which to display its dozen-or-so trophies and assorted 
plaques and certificates.
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