DATE: May 3, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Gordon Bassham
Crime Stoppers of Wichita/
** News Release **
Late on the morning of Thursday, May 2, 2013 Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County received an anonymous phone tip regarding possible suspects in the homicide of Mr. Jordan Turner. Mr. Turner’s body was found near 127th Street East and Pawnee on May 1, 2013.
As a result of this case, there is growing interest in how tips to Crime Stoppers tips are processed, and how rewards are paid if a tip leads to an arrest.
“All tips to Crime Stoppers are always anonymous, said Crime Stoppers Executive Director Gordon Bassham. “Tips are either phoned in to 316-267-2111, sent by text message to CRIMES (274637), or entered on the Crime Stoppers Website, www.wsccs.com. When each tip is received, the tipster is given a tip number since Crime Stoppers never asks the name of the person providing the tip. Special software strips all phone calls and text messages of Caller ID information, and the IP address of the computer from which the tip was sent. Each tip, regardless how it is received, receives this individualized number.”
Bassham said tipsters are then told to periodically check back with Crime Stoppers about the status of their tip using only their tip number. If that tip results in an arrest, information about the case then is presented to the Crime Stoppers Advisory Committee at its monthly meeting. At each meeting, the committee reviews all tips and determines the amount of the reward to be paid for each separate tip.
“The next time the tipster checks in with Crime Stoppers, said Bassham, “they are then told the amount of their reward and asked to go to a local bank at a specific time on a specific date where they claim their reward in cash. All rewards are paid in cash in order to protect the anonymity of the tipster.”
However, not all rewards are collected, Bassham said.
“For instance, in 2010, the Crime Stoppers Advisory Committee approved rewards totaling $8,350, yet only $5,580 in rewards were claimed. In 2011, approved rewards totaled $3,325 while only $425 in rewards were claimed. In 2012, the committee approved rewards totaling $9,055, yet only $1,585 of that amount was claimed.
“We feel most people call Crime Stoppers to report information on crimes and criminals because they want to make our community safer and more secure,” said Bassham.
“It is very heartening to know that so many people in Sedgwick County clearly understand the need to help put bad people behind bars.”
Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County is a division of the non-profit Wichita Crime Commission. It founded in June, 1980.