What is Crime Solvers?
Crime Solvers is a non-profit, community based program that unites citizens, the media and the police department. The program is comprised of members from the community that volunteer their time to serve on the Board of Directors. Crime Solvers encourages citizens to take an active role in their community by providing police with information regarding crimes or wanted persons. Anonymity is guaranteed and callers will never have to appear for court proceedings.
Crime Solvers, Goals
The goals of Crime Solvers is to solve crimes, located wanted suspects, seize illegal drugs and recover stolen property. In dong so, Crime Solvers hopes to improve the overall quality of life for the community.
How does Crime Solvers work?
Crimes Solvers cannot be successful without community involvement in the process. When crimes occur in the county, police will alert community members via the internet, social media and through area news outlets. Citizens can then anonymously report information pertaining to the crime to the local Crime Solvers tip-line. In doing so the caller is assigned a tip number for future correspondence. The tip is then investigated by officers or detectives and if the tip leads to arrest or significant advancement in the case, the caller could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000. No county government funds go towards are allotted to the program for reward payouts. All funds are earned through fundraisers.
Law Enforcement's Role
The Public Information Officer with the police department serves as the program coordinator and acts as the liaison between police and the Board of Directors. The coordinator also works with different media outlets to broadcast crime information to the community and ensures that the tips received through the tip-line are investigated by police.
The media helps the police and Crime Solvers publicize crimes and wanted persons through broadcasts and articles about the incident. The media ensures that the public is informed about what is going on in the community and also helps to promote the program.
Board of Directors' Role
The Board of Directors oversees the program and ensures its success. The board is comprised of citizens who live and/or work in Prince William County. Board members meet once a month to review successful tips and assigned an appropriate reward amount. The board is also tasked with hosting fundraisers to raise money for reward payouts.
Crime Solvers originated in Albuquerque, NM in 1976 following an unsolved murder. Following the murder, which had little leads, police officers reenacted the crime for the media. The reenactment aired at 10 p.m. and an arrest was made at a nearby apartment complex the next morning at 8 a.m. following a tip received through the police.
Prince William County began the Crime Solvers Program in 1982. In 2011, 111 tips were received and processed leading to 11 approved reward payouts of $4,400. Information about the East Coast Rapist was one tip received in 2011 which ultimately led to the apprehension of the suspect. The tip was received by the Prince George's County Crime Solvers Program following a regional media campaign.
In 2012, 117 tips were received leading to 10 approved reward payouts totaling $2,200.
In 2013, 170 tips were received leading to 17 approved reward payouts totaling $5,800.
In 2014, 199 tips were received leading to 9 approved reward payouts totaling $2,700.
See the Crime Solvers of Prince William County's official Facebook page here.
Crime Solvers of Prince William County is a member of the Virginia Crime Stoppers Association. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Crime Solvers Board of Directors can email the Crime Solvers police liaison here.
*Virginia law protects the anonymity of Crime Solver tipsters and also provides immunity for board members of the organization from civil liability .
Anyone with information on these advertised cases or other crimes which occurred in Prince William County is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or 703-670-3700. You do not have to provide any personal information when calling, only the information pertaining to the case. You could earn up to a $1,000 cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest.