Michiana Crime Stoppers needs your help
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Michiana Crime Stoppers has been serving the community for 37 years, using anonymous tips to lead to thousands of arrests, but after a violent weekend and four shootings in South Bend alone, the program is asking the public to speak up and help put an end to the violence.
“We have to work together if we want gun violence or any violence to stop,” coordinator, Sgt. Kayla Miller said. “It’s our community, but it’s your call.”
That is why the program takes anonymous tips from the public, offering rewards that are donated by members of the community, for information that leads to the arrest of a felony fugitive or solving a felony crime.
The process is completely anonymous, safe and secure.
“Because some people are very scared of retaliation or being labeled a snitch or, you know, just concerns of doing the right thing,” Sgt. Miller said.
To report a tip, people can call either (574) 288-STOP or 800-342-STOP. Tips can also be submitted online directly at p3tips.com/203. Both the Facebook page and the website pages will take you directly to the tip software as well.
The tip form covers everything from the who, what and where, to the type of offense and whether or not there is a crime in progress, all while keeping the tipster protected from start to finish.
“When a tipster calls in, they’re given a tip number. That is the only way that we can communicate with that tipster again, if they call in, is because they have to be able to provide that tip number,” Sgt. Miller said.
After the tip is sent in, the process does not stop there.
Before Michiana Crime Stoppers sends the tip off to the correct department to investigate, the team has an extensive process to make sure there is no word or information that could reveal the tipster’s identity included.
In 37 years, tips have led to the arrest of more than 8,000 people, according to Sgt. Miller.
“We’ve already paid out $20,400 in rewards [in 2020 alone],” Sgt. Miller said. “That’s $20,000 of money that we’ve raised, that’s $20,000 going back into the hands in our community.”
The violence, however, has not stopped; South Bend is already sitting at 98 shooting victims in 2020, according to Sgt. Miller.
“This is unacceptable and there is no reason that we should have this in our community, that this violence should be as bad as it is and there is always someone who knows something,” Sgt. Miller said. “And if we have an opportunity to either close out cases with arrest because information comes in, or if your tip comes in and can stop a shooting from happening, that’s ultimately what we’re looking for.”
If a tip comes in that could lead to the arrest or solving the case of 7-year-old Chrisyah Stephens, the tipster could get a thousand dollar reward, according to Sgt. Miller.