“We need the community to help…” Crime Stoppers say it’s the only way to help end gun violence

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – We report on more shootings every week in Central Illinois.

“This is happening in our own backyard. It’s an item of tremendous concern for all residents of Champaign County,” John Hecker, Champaign County Crime Stoppers President, said.

It’s happening across the country.

“It’s spreading through the entire community. No one is immune from the effects of this gun violence,” Hecker said.

After almost every shooting, law enforcement tells us they’re experiencing a problem.

“When they go around asking for information, there’s often a hesitancy for individuals to come forward and share any helpful information. A lot of it is because of fear of retaliation. Which is totally understandable,” he said.

Hecker said if you don’t feel safe going to the police, you have another option. It’s the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line.

“We want to never deter anyone from going to law enforcement, but if they have a hesitation from doing so, we exist,” Hecker said. “We can take that information, and we guarantee their anonymity. We, in turn, can convey that information to the appropriate law enforcement agency.”

Hecker said the only way things can get better, and they can find who is involved, is with your help.

“It’s very difficult because if they don’t have the information it’s rough to gather up who might’ve committed this and how we can follow up on it. So, we really need help from the community,” Hecker said.

If you give information to Crime Stoppers and it leads to an arrest you automatically become a candidate for a cash reward. To be able to qualify you must submit your tip through their phone line, website, or app. You can find all of that information, here.

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