CrimeStoppers goes online

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 5, 2001
Meridian Police Detective Deano Harper hopes to nab criminal suspects with the help of the public and his computer possibly avoiding months of lengthy investigations.
The tool of choice: the CrimeStoppers Web site, which went online Tuesday.
About 40 percent of all criminal cases are touched by CrimeStoppers, a system in which people pick up their phones to report crime. By adding a Web site, Harper hopes to enhance investigations and expedite cases.
The interactive CrimeStoppers site lets visitors view a list of wanted suspects, report recent criminal acts or catch up on their latest Neighborhood Watch news. They can report criminal suspects, give descriptions and give locations.
Visitors also can give cops a heads-up on drug and gang activity or on people who are plotting criminal activity. And they can access crime prevention tips to learn how to make their homes safer.
Even though the site is maintained by the Police Department, its uses extend to the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Naval Air Station Meridian police.
Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell said CrimeStoppers is useful in helping investigators develop leads and suspects.
Harper said Web site visitors can report crime leads anonymously by typing-in information and sending it with no return address. Or, he said, they can use an anonymous name in order to receive cash rewards.
The CrimeStoppers Board of Trustees pays as much as $1,000 for tips leading to the resolution of cases, Harper said.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.
Did you know?
To access the new CrimeStoppers Web site, go to http://crimestoppers911.tripod.com/crimestoppers. Residents who wish to contact CrimeStoppers by phone should call 485-1860.

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