New ideas ahead for Crime Line
Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 29, 2004
Suffolk’s Crime Line Program has a new coordinator who will serve as a link between the police department and the citizens – Lt. Debbie Jones George.
&uot;Crime Line is a non-profit, community program that unites the public, the media, and the police in the fight against crime,&uot; said George. &uot;The Crime Line program offers anonymity and cash rewards to citizens who assist police by providing information to them. If information leads to an arrest, recovery of stolen property or the seizure of illegal drugs, callers receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.&uot;
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Since 1982, Crime Line & Crime Solvers in Hampton Roads have closed the book on more than 15,000 cases, the lieutenant said. The programs have also assisted in the recovery of millions of dollars in stolen property and illegal drugs. However, contrary to popular belief, Crime Line is not a police program, she added.
Crime Line is funded entirely by private donations from concerned citizens and businesses. Volunteer citizen boards administer the program, raise funds and approve and pay rewards.
&uot;Crime Line is about everyone working together to make their community safer,&uot; said George. &uot;We have experienced great cooperation from our citizen’s board, who donate their time, the media who donate their time and talents, and the callers who phone in valuable information everyday about crimes and wanted persons. Without this information it would be more difficult for the police to do their job.&uot;
Callers are able to provide information without fear retaliation because callers never have to give their names. Their telephone numbers are not recorded or traced and callers never have to appear in court thus assuring complete anonymity.
George added that the department will be undertaking several new projects in the coming months to raise awareness of the Crime Line program.
&uot;We hope to be adding a crime line link to our current Web page,&uot; said the lieutenant. &uot;This way, we can post a wanted person’s information and photographs.&uot;
The lieutenant said she hopes to also see another major change on the police department’s Web site.
&uot;We want to post information on recent crimes and suspect descriptions there,&uot; said George. &uot;We would like to have e-mail links so that citizens can e-mail in their tips and information.&uot;
George is also working with Tim Kelley, the city’s Municipal Access Cable coordinator, to make available more information on crime in this city.
&uot;The Crime Line program is an important tool to law enforcement and I certainly look forward to working with the program and watching it increase in its effectiveness,&uot; said George. &uot;It takes a lot of work and the cooperation of our concerned citizens to keep the information flowing and the program working as it should. It is a tool that citizens can use to help police keep their neighborhoods safe.&uot;
George will be assisted by Detective David Jenkins, who joined the Suffolk Police Department in 1993.
Call Crime Line at 1-800-LOCK-U-UP if you have any information about any criminal activity in Suffolk, the whereabouts of any suspect wanted by police, or the location of stolen goods or illegal substances.