MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Anthony A. Caputo, retired director of the New Brunswick Police Department, announced the formation of Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County Inc., a non-profit organization that will offer rewards to the public for information leading to the arrests of suspects for a variety of crimes. Caputo will serve as president and chairman of the board of directors of the new organization.
Crime Stoppers is a nationally-recognized agency dedicated to helping police solve crimes by offering cash payments to entice people to call a special phone number and anonymously provide information.
“Police in Middlesex County have long had a strong working relationship with our residents, whose assistance has been invaluable in preventing crime, solving crime and providing information that has led to successful prosecutions,” Kaplan said.
“Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County Inc. offers a financial incentive and guarantees anonymity to those who might otherwise be reluctant to help us,” Kaplan said.
“This program will engage our residents in a way that they can actively help keep their families and neighborhoods safe,” said Freeholder Mildred S. Scott, chair of the county’s Law and Public Safety Committee. “Crime Stoppers will raise awareness and will greatly expand our ability to spot crime and stop it.”
“Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County Inc. has been made possible through a group of corporations that has generously donated financial assistance to get this program started,” Caputo said. “We also have assembled a dedicated team of volunteers that will help run this organization. This is a great way for the community and law enforcement to work together.”
The corporate members of Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County Inc. are Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Johnson & Johnson, the Hyatt Regency and Greater Media Newspapers.
Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County Inc. will be operated by a 10-member board of directors that includes Greg Schiano, head football coach at Rutgers University.
The board, which is expected to hold its first meeting within a few weeks, will determine how and when rewards will be offered and will establish a dedicated “tips” phone line, so people can anonymously call police, provide information and then collect rewards. The amounts of rewards will be determined by the board.
For nearly a year, Kaplan has been working to help organize the Crime Stoppers program for the county, first by meeting with other Crime Stoppers organizations for advice on creating the program, and then by seeking corporate members to finance the program and provide representatives for the board of directors.
“To set up this organization in Middlesex County, we studied how Crime Stoppers works elsewhere in New Jersey, and we have learned that in some cases, people don’t want the reward money, they just want to help keep their communities and families safe,” Kaplan said.
The new organization also has the full support of the police departments in Middlesex County.
“The Middlesex County Association of Chiefs of Police is looking forward to utilizing Crime Stoppers, a nationally-recognized program that has assisted law enforcement agencies solve thousands of crimes,” said Monroe Township Police Chief John J. Kraivec, who also is president of the chiefs association.
“The ability to partner with corporate members to offer rewards for information on crimes committed in Middlesex County is paramount. Crime Stoppers is a proven tool used by law enforcement. The Middlesex County Association of Chiefs of Police is committed to serving our communities and looks forward to working with our residents and keeping them safe,” Kraivec said.
Robert J. Zullo Jr., an attorney with the law firm of Martin, Kane & Kuper of East Brunswick, prepared a certificate of incorporation, which was filed in Trenton on Oct. 22 to recognize Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County Inc. as a legal non-profit corporation.
Its parent organization, Crime Stoppers USA, which offers advice and training to local Crime Stoppers organizations, reported that since the program began in 1976, Crime Stoppers has been responsible for 539,837 arrests, has cleared 865,412 cases and has paid a total of $78,827,492 in rewards nationwide.
Any corporation or business wishing to be a financial sponsor to Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County Inc. may contact Sgt. Christopher Penna at the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-732-745- 4102.
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