DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Investigators here say an anonymous tip line is an increasingly important tool to help solve the region’s crimes.
Started in 2007, Miami Valley Crime Stoppers program has grown from a hotline into a multimedia crime reporting service. Now anyone can use the website or mobile application to submit a tip.
“We handle information about any and all crimes, from the smallest to largest, theft to murder,” said Detective Zachariah Hastings, a Dayton Police officer and investigator for Miami Valley Crime Stoppers.
Every work day, the detective sifts through new tips, researches addresses, performs background checks and forwards information to agencies involved. If possible, he’ll follow-up with a tipper to bolster any tips needing clarification.
Hastings explained the program is a popular option for anyone wishing to report a crime, but fearing retribution.
“Instead of speaking to the police, they can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously and I share the information with the proper jurisdiction,” said Hastings.
In April, Crime Stoppers fielded an all-time high of almost 200 tips. Most months, Hastings said up to a dozen tips directly help solve crimes.
“Every few days I’m getting good information…” he said. “And I’m giving out cash rewards for it.”
Depending on the value of the information and the crime involved, a tipper can receive up to $2,500 cash for a tip. The reward fund is generated by forfeitures and court fees paid by suspects and determined by the Crime Stoppers board.
Although the reward acts as an incentive, Hastings said many tippers are motivated to help an investigation.
“It empowers the community,” he said. “It gives them an avenue to share information without having that fear.”
Contact Miami Valley Crime Stoppers:
- By phone: 222-STOP (937-222-7867)
- Online: submit a tip in this online form
- Mobile App: search “P3 Tips” in your Apple or Android app store
You can find more information on the Crime Stoppers website here.