04/08/07 — Group honored for work on crime

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Group honored for work on crime

By Lee Williams
Published in News on April 8, 2007 2:01 AM

Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers was honored with a special award in Asheville last month for the organization's efforts to get criminals off the streets.

The 2006 Productivity Award for programs with a population between 100,000 and 199,999 was presented during the 2007 Southeastern Crime Stoppers Association awards banquet on March 21, said Sgt. Dot Ardes, the law enforcement coordinator, who also works for the Goldsboro Police Department.

The award is granted to the Crime Stoppers program with the most cases solved and property and drugs recovered for the year.

Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers executive director Bill Troutman lauded the crime-fighting organization on its accolade.

"The award means quite a bit to us because it means we are doing the kind of job that the civic and business groups as well as individual donors who support us want done," the retired school leader said.

Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers has had much success since its inception in 1982.

The group staffs a hotline where people can phone in anonymous crime tips. Callers are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information they provide leads to a felony arrest.

"For more than 20 years, anonymous calls to the Crime Stoppers tipline have helped make Goldsboro and Wayne County a safer place to live," she said. "Crime Stoppers is a true partnership between law enforcement, citizens and the community. Rewards paid since the program started total $407,320.

"All of those funds come from contributions from the community. Together, we have truly made a difference."

Last year, Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers helped local law enforcement officials make 71 arrests, clearing 201 cases, and recover $226,000 in stolen property, guns and drugs.

As of December 2006, $9,899,613 in drugs and property have been recovered in Wayne County since the program's inception.

The first Crime Stoppers program was started in 1976 by a police officer in Albuquerque, N.M., as a way for the media, law enforcement and the community to work together to solve crimes.

The program has grown throughout the country and is now an international organization.