The Crime Stoppers hotline was created so city residents could share information about crimes anonymously — and get rewarded for successful tips. Here’s what we know about the initiative.
Crime Stoppers offers up to $3,500 in cash rewards for anonymous tips that lead to an arrest and indictment for a violent felony.
It seeks information about violent crimes, including homicide, sexual assault, robbery and shootings, though the hotline says it is “always willing to receive tips related to any type of crime.”
Crime Stoppers lists violent crimes that the NYPD is seeking tips for on its “Wanted Page,” which provides information including video, pictures, an address and a description of the incident.
How does it work?
Tipsters have the option to submit details like names of potential suspects, license plate numbers and drug activity. They can also upload videos, pictures, audio or documents that may be relevant to the search for a suspect.
In 2019, the initiative also launched an app where users can see wanted posters and submit information.
Once the information is submitted, tipsters should receive a reference number and can call back to follow up after a week, the program’s website says.
Where does the money come from?
The NYC Police Foundation funds Crime Stoppers, administers the rewards and promotes the program through public awareness campaigns, according to the foundation’s website.
The foundation says the program “cannot be funded through traditional police resources” in order to ensure caller anonymity and maintain the rewards. The nonprofit instead relies on donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to fund the program, it says.
Since its inception in 1983, Crime Stoppers has distributed over $2.7 million in rewards, according to the Police Foundation’s 2021 annual report.
CNN’s Mark Morales and Brynn Gingras contributed to this report.
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