Tipsters rewarded for helping catch cop shooter - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tipsters rewarded for helping catch cop shooter

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –

Two tipsters who helped put a cop shooter in prison split $3,000 in reward money.

Last Friday 19-year-old Johnnie Hill pleaded guilty to shooting Albany Police Officer Tim Harvey a year and a half ago.

APD gave rewards to two people who gave anonymous tips that helped police catch and convict Hill.

Officer Tim Harvey was shot while chasing a suspicious person on 8th Avenue June 17, 2008. The next day Johnny Hill was arrested, thanks to tips. The tipsters who were given the rewards were not at a press conference to pick up their checks, choosing to stay anonymous.

Both of the tipsters got $1,510. Fred Brooks donated one thousand dollars to the reward fund, because he wanted to catch the person who shot his friend, Officer Tim Harvey.

Five Points Laundromat owner Fred Brooks said "He was always a really good police officer. He seemed genuinely concerned about the area. And when he was shot, I just thought it was a natural thing to do."

For Harvey, it was a long recovery back from his wound. Now an Investigator with APD, he appreciates the community rallying to his aid.

APD Investigator Tim Harvey said "That would actually be willing to put up money out of his own pocket to help me out, it show how much the community actually does care for us. And we appreciate it very much."

The two people getting the rewards wanted to stay anonymous, possibly because Johnnie Hill was a member of the Westside Rattlers gang.

Captain Charles Poole said "A lot of times you put people's name out there they won't come forward. They don't want to be on television. They don't want people to know they are giving information. But it's really helpful."

Police say they value people calling in tips, and they will also keep their name private. And they say reward money is a valuable tool to help Investigations.

 APD Chief John Proctor said "Sad to say, sometime it requires an incentive. But in most cases in my course of experience, people tend to want to do the right thing anyway."

Police say they wish they could award more reward money in more crime investigations.  Getting more people to call in tips and help send dangerous crooks to jail."

Police say they know offering reward money really helps get people in the community step up and give them information about crimes, and they are glad to do it if it gets dangerous criminals off the streets.

Johnnie Hill was sentenced to spend 30 years in prison after his guilty plea.

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