What is Heartland Crime Stoppers?
Heartland Crime Stoppers is a community based program designed to help law enforcement solve crime by setting up a system which allows the public to phone in tips anonymously and receive rewards for information that leads to an arrest or indictment. It is an anonymous TIPS hotline to report crime-related information in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. Tipsters remain anonymous and become eligible for rewards of up to $3,000.
How Does Heartland Crime Stoppers Work?
It's simple. Callers are urged to call 1-800-226-TIPS (8477) with information on any felony crime. Heartland Crime Stoppers cases are featured on television, radio, and in newspapers. Callers are issued code numbers and remain anonymous.
Who Runs Heartland Crime Stoppers?
It is operated by an independent citizen directed Board of Directors. They are civic-minded leaders in their communities who are dedicated to helping law enforcement solve crime in Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties.
What Law Enforcement Agencies Are Involved?
All of them. The program coordinator works for the Sheriff's Office. All of the Police Departments exchange information regarding Heartland Crime Stoppers cases and tips received. Other state and federal law enforcement agencies also support and are aided by the program.
Who is Eligible For Rewards?
Any person who directly contacts Heartland Crime Stoppers and gives information which leads to the arrest or indictment of an adult or juvenile, or leads to the arrest of a fugitive wanted in a felony case, will be eligible for a reward. Persons not eligible for a reward are any commissioned law enforcement officer and members of his immediate family; the perpetrator or co-perpetrator of the crime; the victim of the crime; or the fugitive from justice.
Who Funds Heartland Crime Stoppers?
Heartland Crime Stoppers is solely funded through donations and receives zero direct tax dollars. Citizens and local businesses make Crime Stoppers work.
Does Heartland Crime Stoppers Really Work?
Absolutely. In Florida alone, based upon Heartland Crime Stopper tips from twelve operating programs since inception in the mid 1980's: 14,051 arrests have been made, 31,682 cases have been closed,
$64,218,325 in stolen property has been recovered, and $379,851,333 worth of narcotics have been seized.
All of this has been accomplished by an average reward payment per case solved of $54.89. Nationally, since 1976 when the program was started in Albuquerque, New Mexico, over 425,000 major crimes have been solved, over 75,000 criminals have been put behind bars, and $2.9 billion of stolen property and narcotics have been recovered.