How it all began.
Crime Stoppers started in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1976 when young, Canadian born Albuquerque police detective, Greg MacAleese reached a dead end in a particularly brutal homicide investigation. Frustrated by the lack of clues, he appealed to a local television station to broadcast a ninety-second re-enactment of the crime. The re-enactment was televised during a portion of a news broadcast. The detective offered a cash reward and promised anonymity for tips to a special hotline. Within seventy-two hours, this horrendous murder was solved as a result of tips. (read more about The Crime Stoppers Story)
So successful was this first effort, that the program was subsequently enlarged, refined and has come to be known around the world as “Crime Stoppers “.
Today there are about 1,200 Crime Stoppers Programs in communities around the world that take tips to assist investigators to solve crimes including homicides, sexual assaults, drug trafficking operations and robberies. Programs have also received information that has prevented school shooting and criminal acts by terrorist organizations.
In Canada, there are about 105 Programs, of which 38 are in Ontario. Hamilton is the city that established the first program in Ontario when Crime Stoppers of Hamilton Wentworth Inc. was formed in May 1983. Upon amalgamation of the City Crime Stoppers Of Hamilton Inc. became the new name.
The Crime Stoppers Name
Not many people know this but the word “Crime” and “Stopper” were combined many years ago by the late Chester Gould, creator of the Dick Tracy comic strips. In 1947, Mr. Gould introduced “Crimestoppers”, using Junior, Dick Tracy’s adopted son, to form a detective club to help kids stay out of trouble. Two years later the “Crimestoppers Textbook”, with tips for children about safety, finding clues and crime prevention, became a weekly feature at the top of each Sunday edition of the comic strip.
In 1976, a police officer Greg MacAleese in Albuquerque, New Mexico approached Gould with permission to use the term Crimestoppers (used as one word) for a new program he wanted to organize. The result was the beginning of one of the most effective citizen-law enforcement, anti-crime programs in existence. By 1982, more than 300 communities in the United States had similar programs, and that same year, Crimestoppers went International. The word Crime Stopper or Crime Stoppers means something special to those who are associated with this rewarding program. (link http://www.dicktracymuseum.com/dick-tracy/crimestoppers/)
Crime Stoppers is not a new concept in reporting crime police work. It simply promotes more dramatically an investigative tool used by successful investigators for centuries.