FOX23 partners with Crime Stoppers working to reduce and prevent crime

TULSA, Okla. — FOX23 is now partnering with The Tulsa Crime Prevention Network and Crime Stoppers as we work to make our communities safer.

Each Thursday, FOX23 Evening Anchor Sara Whaley will bring you a story about the efforts to reduce and prevent crime.

For the first story, she looked into what happens when you call Crime Stoppers with information on a crime.

Executive Director Karen Gilbert said, “Most people who know something about a crime are afraid to speak up. They are afraid to speak up because they are worried about retaliation.”

It’s one of the reasons, she says, the non-profit Crime Stoppers organization exists.

Gilbert says Crime Stoppers doesn’t belong to any law enforcement agency although they work with several of them. Currently, they are partners with Tulsa, Bixby and Broken Arrow Police. They also work with The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office and Tulsa Fire Marshals.

Tulsa Police Officer Danny Bean is the Crime Stoppers Coordinator.

“They really do help,” he said.

FOX23 asked Gilbert and Officer Bean about what happens when a tipster calls 918-596-COPS.

“You aren’t talking with anyone locally,” Gilbert said.

The call taker is from an answering service used by Crime Stoppers groups nationwide. The tipster is asked questions and given a tip number. All that information is then added to a database, which then goes to the law enforcement agency in need of information.

Officer Bean says the detectives don’t even know who the tipsters are if they ask not to be identified. “It’s like a direct message Facebook. You have a tip number. You can go there and see the tip and there is a whole system there where I can create a dialogue and send them a message. All they have to do is check it and once they check it we can talk back and forth,” Officer Bean said about communicating with a tipster.

If the information leads to an arrest, there is a chance for a cash reward if the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors approves it.

“They are given a code to take to the bank. They simply have to give the code to the teller. The teller knows, they will hand over the reward money and that’s it,” Gilbert said. “About 85% percent of tipsters don’t take reward money. They are just calling in information to make sure that these people are taken off the streets and not causing more harm.”