MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Police departments, convenience stores and gas stations throughout the county will be participating in a three-day advertising campaign to promote the Middlesex County Crime Stoppers program, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Anthony A. Caputo, chairman and president of Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County announced.
Police departments and various retailers will set up posters and hand out business cards between Oct. 26 and Oct. 28, touting the successes of Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County.
In addition, county shuttle buses will be draped in Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County advertising, and 23 municipal- and county-owned portable traffic message boards will advertise the program at strategic locations throughout the county.
Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos, chair of the county Public Safety and Health Committee, initiated the comprehensive advertising campaign to increase public awareness and encourage residents to take an active role in helping police keep their communities safe.
“These efforts should go a long way to encourage the community to assist police and keep them mindful that public safety is everyone’s job,” said Freeholder Polos, who volunteers as a member of the Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County Board of Directors.
Since its inception in May 2011, Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County has logged more than 150 tips that have resulted in arrests for such crimes as a homicide, arson, insurance fraud and drug trafficking.
Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County has paid a total of only $1,100. One tipster was awarded $600 and another received $500 for information that led to arrests.
Kaplan said most callers are not interested in cash rewards, but simply want to anonymously pass along to police information about crimes to help keep their neighborhoods safe.
About 80 percent of the calls come from individuals who are concerned about drug trafficking in their neighborhoods, Kaplan said.
Crime Stoppers “remains a valuable tool in our efforts to keep our communities safe. 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.
During the weekend advertising campaign, a number of gas stations and convenience stores have agreed to place posters in prominent places and distribute Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County business cards to customers, Polos said.
Eighteen Raceway gas stations, six WAWA convenience stores, six WAWA gas stations and 113 businesses affiliated with the Asian American Retailers Association are among participants.
Shuttle buses in the Middlesex County Area Wide Transportation system will be covered with Crime Stoppers information for the next six months, Freeholder Polos said.
In addition, Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County bumper stickers will be placed on hundreds of police vehicles in the county.
The 23 municipal- and county-owned portable traffic message boards will be placed at strategic locations with the message: “Cash Rewards for Anonymous Crime Tips – Visit middlesextips.com.”
Message boards also will be positioned at the high traffic areas around Rutgers University’s High Point Solutions Stadium to advertise Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County when the Scarlet Knights football team plays Kent State on Oct. 27.
Some of the message boards are being donated by Signs and Safety Devices LLC of Bound Brook, and J. Fletcher Creamer & Son, Inc. of Hackensack.
Rickey Varga, chief of the Cranbury Police Department and president of the Middlesex County Association of Chiefs of Police, said the Crime Stoppers program is being supported in each of the county’s municipal police departments.
“For people who may be uncertain where to go, or may be afraid to report a crime, this program offers them an opportunity to remain anonymous, which has been key to its success,” Varga said.
Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County offers cash to people who anonymously contact the agency to report crimes.
Arrangements for cash payments are made for those who call 1-800-939-9600, or contact the Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County website at: middlesextips.com. Text messages may be sent to 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword “midtip” followed by a message.
Those who call will be given instructions on how to collect cash rewards by using a numerical code that will be recognized by a local bank, which will pay the rewards that are approved by Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County.
Caputo said Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County could not function without the assistance of members who volunteer their time, or the corporations and businesses that have made contributions to the organization.
“I wish to thank the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors, the corporations and businesses that have made financial contributions, the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Freeholder H. James Polos, Prosecutor Kaplan and every law enforcement agency in Middlesex County for their continued support,” Caputo said.