CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — There’s a pair of new faces to Champaign County Crime Stoppers, two people you may see on your TV regularly. Illini basketball players Luke Goode and Ty Rodgers.
They’re filling new shoes and working to fight crime with Crime Stoppers.
Crime Stoppers announced on Wednesday that it is releasing a new digital advertisement featuring the Illini stars. The ad features them promoting Crime Stoppers’ system of anonymity and tips for arrests. The ad also promotes the organization’s P3 Tips app, which can be used to submit anonymous tips.
The partnership between them and Crime Stoppers was made possible through Illinois’ name, image and likeness law passed in 2021.
“Their willingness to do so is very important,” Louis Margaglione, co-founder of Illini Guardians, said.
Illini Guardians is a group that works with Illinois Athletes and NIL programs.
He said one of his colleagues wanted to collaborate with Crime Stoppers to target young people and spread the word about the P3 Tips app.
“I think we just want to get them the app in their hands, give them an opportunity to do good things for the community in a way that is anonymous as well,” Josh Henson, the Crime Stoppers board member who oversaw the creation of the ad, said.
“Young people often have information about things going on in their school or neighborhood but are hesitant to provide information or don’t know how to anonymously,” Henson added.
He said it’s important for young people to see the message in their social media feeds and on YouTube, especially when basketball players are involved.
Henson hopes this is just the beginning of the change teenagers can make in crime reduction.
“Just being a good community member,” Henson said. “We talk about that in the ad, being a part of the community is about teamwork and being on the side of doing good and furthering the community and making it a safer place to be.”
Margaglione said the positive impression athletes can make on kids is important.
Goode and Rodgers filmed the ad at the Stephens Family YMCA in Champaign.