Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana to take over operations in Madison County

·2 min read

Jun. 16—ANDERSON — Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana is stepping in to take over for the Anderson-Madison County Crime Stoppers.

The non-profit, civilian-led organization collaborates with local businesses in Central Indiana to provide a safe, anonymous way for the community to send in tips to law enforcement. The areas covered stretch from Kokomo all the way to Bloomington and now Anderson and surrounding Madison County.

The service, which began as a 'jail snitch line' in the 1980s, offers citizens three ways to submit tips: a 24/7 call line, a mobile application or a website. According to Director of Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana Daniel Rosenberg, the organization uses Canadian servers to ensure tippers remain anonymous. This is due to Canada's stricter anonymous tipping laws. He stressed the importance of anonymity while referencing a growing lack of trust for law enforcement.

"We are kind of in a time and a space where people are not very comfortable participating in public safety," Rosenberg said. "We want people to feel like if they give information, law enforcement will verify it, but we will make sure it all remains anonymous."

Kendale Adams, deputy chief of police and head of investigations for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said services like these greatly help law enforcement close out cases.

"It's a tool I don't think the community should be without," he said.

Adams highlighted the fact that the organization is independent of law enforcement and said he was glad it was.

"This anonymous, independent option helps build trust with law enforcement," Adams said. "A lot of people want to help, but they don't want to be on the affidavit or they are generally distrustful of police."

Even those tips which lead to rewards remain anonymous through relationships with several Central Indiana banks. Those who receive awards use an anonymous tip ID number, a password and a code name. They are then directed to a specific bank where cash will be rewarded. Money is capped at $1,000 to ensure no tax forms could potentially identify tippers. According to Rosenberg, Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana receives around 32,000 tips a year from local communities.

"There's been many arrests due to tips through Crime Stoppers," said Dale Needleman, president of the board for Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana.

For Needleman, having resources like these is important.

"We want to make sure the program remains alive and well for people to still have a high quality, anonymous tip line," he said. "We are incredibly excited to take over and continue providing this great service for Madison County."

Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana will officially take over starting July 1.