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Crime Stoppers Volunteer

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What happens if a student at your school brings a weapon on to school grounds? Don't think in terms of the trouble they'll get in. Think about how the situation should be handled. Do you tell a teacher? Do you leave it alone for fear of being labeled a snitch?

If your school is involved with Crime Stoppers, you don't have to worry about your peers labeling you. You can report the student anonymously, and help prevent a crime from occurring.

Crime Stoppers is an organization that works to reduce crime by giving witnesses a safe method of reporting crimes without fear of retaliation. Witnesses report incidents through a secure tips line or secure website. Then they're given a code number to ensure their anonymity. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards of up to $1,000 to anyone providing information leading to an arrest for a crime.

Students who volunteer with Crime Stoppers units at their schools serve as student board members. A student board member may do a number of different things. For example, Helen is a student volunteer with Crime Stoppers and serves as the sponsorship director for her area.

"If we are having a raffle or holding an event, I speak to businesses and organizations about sponsoring us," says Helen. "I also attend local community functions and promote the program by speaking to the public about Crime Stoppers."

Other student volunteer jobs include fund-raising, public awareness activities and finding sponsors. Volunteers may also recruit other students to help with events and activities.

"Crime Stoppers is the best chance you have to do something to help your community," says Carrie Reynolds. She is the coordinator of a scholastic Crime Stoppers program. "When you think there is nothing you can do to combat the crime and violence in today's world, this is one way to learn how to help and be involved."

Dave Shock is the police coordinator for a Crime Stoppers chapter. "The way I look at it is that for every person arrested because of a Crime Stoppers tip, there are less crimes," he says. "That person may have committed more crimes if they hadn't been arrested. At least while they are in jail, they can't do any harm."

Sarah Carson is a student volunteer on a student Crime Stoppers board. She says the experience has been a blast. "One of my favorite times is when I drove to a nearby city...for a parade. The coordinator couldn't make the parade at the last minute, and I had already promised to go to a friend's house the night before," she recalls.

"So, he let me drive a Crime Stoppers Volkswagen Beetle with police decals and signals sleepover, and then to the parade the next day," she says. "You should have seen [my friend's] parents' faces when I showed up in a police vehicle!"

Officer Al Klein is a crime prevention officer. "Students involved in the scholastic Crime Stoppers program here form a student board," he says. "They conduct monthly meetings to discuss tips that have come in, how those turned out, and who should be paid for their tips. They are also responsible for running the fund-raisers that pay for the rewards that are given when a tip is good."

Participation helps build citizenship skills. "Volunteering for the community to help prevent crimes is good for everyone," Klein adds. "The police, no matter how hard we work, can't be there all the time. Crime Stoppers works as our extra eyes and ears in the community. And that helps us to make it safer."

There are few requirements to becoming a student Crime Stopper. Though Helen says it's necessary to have "inspiration, imagination and a willingness to work in a team of other volunteers."

How to Get Involved

So are you ready to jump in and volunteer with Crime Stoppers? It's easy. Simply contact the teacher who heads the program at your school and express your interest.

If there is no student Crime Stoppers program at your school, don't let that stop you. Start one! Attend a meeting of your local Crime Stoppers organization. Most communities have them. Ask the adults at the meeting how you can start an organization at your school.

There's no training or equipment necessary. "Students who will be involved with Crime Stoppers usually participate in training sponsored by their own board. Meetings are usually held every two to four weeks," says Cathy Comben. She is past president of a Crime Stoppers organization.


Crime Stoppers USA

Crime Stoppers International


Crime Stoppers Overview
Learn more about the role of Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers Sites
Find a Crime Stoppers organization in your city/county

Crime Stoppers Scholastic Programs
Learn more about student programs

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OCAP believes that financial literacy and understanding the financial aid process are critical aspects of college planning and student success. OCAP staff who work with students, parents, educators and community partners in the areas of personal finance education, state and federal financial aid, and student loan management do not provide financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice. This website and all information provided is for general educational purposes only, and is not intended to be construed as financial, investment, legal, and/or tax advice.