UNION COUNTY — Crime Stoppers of Union County has added two more ways that members of the public can anonymously report crimes to police.
For the last 25 years, residents of the county were able to call their tips into the Crime Stoppers telephone hotline at 1-908-654-TIPS. Now, there is both a website for the program and the ability to text tips to the authorities.
“These new high-tech tools will help officers better respond to the needs of the public and get criminals off the streets that much sooner,” said Ron Posyton, who has been chairman of the cash crime tip program since it was founded in April of 1984.
In addition to 24-hour hotline, residents may now send tips via www.uctip.org, or by texting “UCTIP” plus the message to 274637 (CRIMES).”
Crime Stoppers offers anonymous cash rewards up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of criminal suspects. More than 1,000 indictable crimes have been solved since the program was created.
Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow hailed the new Internet and texting options as a great way for residents to help both their communities and law enforcement without ever having to give their names.
“It is only by all of us working together that we can rid the streets of the people who seek to disrupt a peaceful and law abiding way of life,” said Romankow.
One of the key aspects of Crime Stoppers is its anonymity and Union County Police Chief Daniel Vaniska reaffirmed that that the Crime Stoppers program does not want anyone’s name, only their information.
“When someone sends a tip in, it goes to a third party, who forwards it to us and the appropriate police department,” said Vaniska. “We do not have access to find out who they are and we do not want to. We are only interested in their information.”
Over the years, tipsters have helped officers solve cases when no leads were available and to locate armed and dangerous fugitives who were sought in homicide investigations.
In the early 1990s, the offer of a Crime Stoppers reward helped to recover the historic lampposts, which were stolen from the front of the Plainfield Public Library.
“Most people who call are not interested in the reward money, only in doing the right thing,” said Posyton, “By working together with the media and law enforcement, we can do our part to make our communities, and our citizens, safer.”
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