NMI Crime Stoppers has won both a national and international award for their crime prevention efforts in the Commonwealth for 2019.
The award for best social media effort was awarded by USA Crime Stoppers at its annual conference, which was held virtually this year. The best Crime of the Week presentation for populations of 300,000 and less was presented by Crime Stoppers International at its annual awards presentation, also held virtually.
Both awards arose from videos created by Ricky Sanchez, videographer and long-time NMI board member, using information provided by DPS’ Criminal Investigation Bureau. The videos were narrated by NMI Crime Stoppers coordinator and DPS officer Fred Sato.
Crime Stoppers is an effective tool used by law enforcement to get information about a crime from the public, while the those providing tips on a crime remain anonymous and get a chance to be awarded up to $1,000 if the tips lead to an arrest.
Over the years, NMI Crime Stoppers has won numerous International awards for its efforts in making the CNMI a safer place to live, work, and play. This is its first USA Crime Stoppers recognition.
“CNMI Crime Stoppers program regularly puts forth quality marketing and media efforts to the awards program and this year’s submission was no different,” said Vince Hughes, chairman of the CSI Awards Committee and CSI board member.
Jim Arenovski, long-time CNMI Crime Stoppers board member and current vice president of Crime Stoppers International, said, “The NMI CS program has won seven international media awards over the years. The local NMI program is strong and competes with programs around the world that have much larger populations and funding. Our Commonwealth is represented well and is respected internationally.”
The Crime of the Week is an effective feature used by NMI Crime Stoppers to get information about a crime to the public. “The goal of the COTW is to get the public to call in with information from anyone who may have been in the area and seen something that can help DPS or other local or federal agencies solve a crime,” said Brian Clayton, NMI Crime Stoppers chairperson.
The premise of Crime Stoppers is there are people out in the community who know about crimes that happen on our island. Whether it is friends, family or associates, someone other than the person doing the crime has information. Crime Stoppers offers the public a way to share that information and remain anonymous and receive a cash award up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Although it is important to report information on crime, most people are afraid of getting involved. Crime Stoppers offer an alternative to speaking to law enforcement.
Crime Stoppers was founded in 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by then detective Greg MacAleese, after a gas station attendant was murdered in an armed robbery attempt. MacAleese created a reenactment of the crime with the information they had about the crime and put it out to the public. They asked the public to call in information with the promise they would be anonymous. Within 24 hours they made an arrest. MacAlesse made a visit to the CNMI in early 2005 and visited a few high schools and businesses. The program he created has grown in various forms in different countries.
Today, there are over 1,200 Crime Stoppers programs around the world, including Australia, USA, Canada, UK and Europe, Africa, South America, and throughout the Caribbean.
The local NMI program has seen great success since its inception in 1989. Tips to the NMI Crime Stoppers tips line have help law enforcement take over $2.5 million in drugs off the street and over $1 million in stolen goods recovered. Tips to NMI Crime Stoppers have also led law enforcement to solving murders, child abuse and exploitation, robberies, and burglaries here in the CNMI.
The NMI Crime of the Week videos can be seen on the NMI Crime Stoppers website and YouTube Channel. (PR)