Crime Stoppers explains tip process in wake of shootings

Local News

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — City leaders in Danville and Champaign are asking for your help solving several crimes.

In the last few weeks, a string of shootings, some deadly and others serious, have gone unsolved. Police are emphasizing their “see something, say something” campaign, and want their communities to cooperate.

The president of Vermilion County Crime Stoppers says there are lot of rumors floating around about how these calls to them work, but the bottom line is it’s completely anonymous.

“Here in town we’ve had quite a bit of crime, shootings, stabbings, etc.”

Chris Clapp is the president of Cermilion County Crime Stoppers, and he’s also on the state Crime Stoppers Board. It’s why he’s doubling down their efforts to solve these cases. To do that, they want to clear up how the process works.

Geoff Applebee, who lives a few blocks from downtown Champaign has been exposed to the city’s violence.

“Occassionally I hear what could be a gunshot.”

Applebee says if more people knew what we told him, things could be different.

“People might feel a little less, oh no, someone is going to know I made a call.”

Clapp says it all starts with your call.

“When they call 446-TIPS here, the phone call actually goes to Canada.”

A Canadian company scrubs the call of your personal information and sends it over to another company in Dallas/Fort Worth which does the same. The Texas company handles most of the Crime Stoppers calls from across the country.

“We do not, I repeat, we do not want your name, all we want is the information that you may have in reference to a crime, no matter how small the information is.”

They give you a case number, you give them the information.

“If your information turns out to be true then you could receive an award.”

Even receiving the reward is anonymous, and you don’t have to claim the reward if you don’t want to.

This is the same process for a majority of Crime Stoppers in counties across Illinois. Clapp says their lines are untraceable, and the Supreme Court has even ruled the calls cannot be subpoenaed. You can also text tips in or use the Crime Stoppers app.

You might be wondering how you know if your tip led to an arrest. If you call, you’re given a case number, and a time frame to call back. If your tip helped, they’ll arrange to get you your reward.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.