04/21/04 — Crime Stoppers luncheon honors helpers

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Crime Stoppers luncheon honors helpers

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 21, 2004 2:11 PM

Goldsboro-Wayne County Crime Stoppers turned the tables Tuesday.

Instead of rewarding anonymous callers who help law enforcement officers solve crimes, the agency honored the officers who make the arrests and the news media who publicize them, at an appreciation luncheon at Madison's restaurant.

"We appreciate what you do," Goldsboro Mayor Al King said of the officers. "I don't know what we'd do without law enforcement. Can you imagine what it would be like? I know the risks you take, and I'm here for you."

County Commissioner J.D. Evans also thanked the officers and Crime Stoppers for what they mean to the county.

Confidential callers to Crime Stoppers have helped Wayne County law authorities solve 6,372 cases since its inception in 1982.

Goldsboro police Cpl. Teresa Cox, a crime prevention officer, announced that the calls also have led to 5,238 arrests, the recovery of $1,744,378 worth of stolen property, the seizure of $7,355,911 worth of illegal drugs and the apprehension of 1,109 fugitives. The conviction rate of those arrested remains 99 percent.

Goldsboro Police Chief Tim Bell, an officer since 1982, said the agency should not be taken for granted.

"I appreciate what the Crime Stoppers board does for the Goldsboro Police Department and Wayne County as a whole," Bell said.

Sheriff Carey Winders noted that "Crime Stoppers does help out a great deal. If crimes can't be solved, that little bit of money can make a big difference."

Winders and Bill Troutman, the executive director of Crime Stoppers, agreed that the law enforcement agencies in the county have an excellent relationship.

Police Chiefs Emmett Ballree of Mount Olive, Ken Barrett of Pikeville and Delisa Staps of Walnut Creek also attended, along with officers from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Troutman also thanked the news media for their help in publicizing the agency's activities. The agency has earned numerous regional and international productivity awards.

Cpl. Cox was filling in for Sgt. Ed Clay, the Crime Stoppers police coordinator who was out of town because of a family illness. Donna Mills, the Crime Stoppers board chairman, presided.

Crime Stoppers is governed by an 18-member board. The agency pays cash rewards of up to $1,000 for anonymous information leading to arrests in felony cases. Callers may dial 735-2255.