CRIMESTOPPERS looks to expand in Southwest Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

CRIMESTOPPERS looks to expand

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Dougherty County's anonymous crime tip line, CRIMESTOPPERS, is now looking to expand to several surrounding Southwest Georgia counties.

Law enforcers say the expansion would help solve more crimes, if the communities can raise the money needed for rewards.

Dougherty County Police say that CRIMESTOPPERS is a valuable tool fighting crime in the community.

Dougherty County Police Captain Jimmy Sexton said "We have a track record that proves that valuable tips come in on a regular basis."

Now CRIMESTOPPERS, which is a volunteer group in Albany that runs the anonymous crime tip line and gives out rewards, wants to expand to include surrounding counties like Lee, Worth, Baker, and Colquitt.

CRIMESTOPPERS President Jason Thornhill said "We know it's proven effective here. The other communities know it's proven effective here. So they would like us to be on board. We just kind of get our program ready to do that."

CRIMESTOPPERS in the last year has started using a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week answering service, that immediately reports tips to police by blackberry. Now CRIMESTOPPERS is exploring to see if that advancing technology could be expanded to a Southwest Georgia crime fighting network, to take back our streets.

Thornhill said "Crime effects us all in every community. And they know the importance of this organization. And how money talks. And we can give these rewards out anonymously and people will get money."

CRIMESTOPPERS expansion is still in the planning stages, but Police say it sounds like a good idea.

Sexton said "We already receive tips from other agencies that are concerning crimes that occurred in other jurisdictions. Crooks don't respect any kind of boundaries."

And the CRIMESTOPPERS organization knows that lowering the crime rate in Southwest Georgia would help the economic development and quality of life.

Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals says he has not heard officially from CRIMESTOPPERS about expanding to Lee County, but he said he would definitely be interested. Thornhill said each community would have to help raise money to pay for the tip line and the rewards.


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