Viewpoint: CrimeStoppers improves to help citizens

You can hardly watch the news without seeing more crime than you would hope exists in our area. But a recent change in the CrimeStoppers program might just help decrease those stories.

CrimeStoppers is a non-profit organization run by volunteers who want to get criminals off the street.

People who call in a tip can receive a cash award, and they do not have to go to the police department, or have their name publicized.

The hotline used to be just an answering machine, but now it's answered by a person around the clock, seven days a week, and the information is immediately relayed to law enforcement officers.

And they say it's working. The system is even able to relay crime tips to officers on their Blackberries, so they can respond quickly.

The City of Albany put $12,000 in its budget to make sure CRIMESTOPPERS kept answering those anonymous reports of crime from concerned citizens, and we say that's money well-spent.

Though the city is helping with funding, the program needs private donations as well.

You can go to their website to donate. They'll hold a golf fundraiser September 17th at Grand Island. If you're a golfer, we encourage you to participate.

Call 430-5377 or 878-0071 for sign up information.

Let's all do what we can to stop crime.