Champaign County Crime Stoppers asking for tips and donations

Victory Over Violence

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) – With more violence and fewer incentives to report it, Champaign County Crime Stoppers is addressing both problems at once.

Crime Stoppers is encouraging people to come forward with information or make donations to fund the rewards the group pays to tipsters.

It’s just one way the group hopes to achieve Victory Over Violence.  

“A lot of people don’t know how to help the violence,” said Dawn Trimble, Vice President of Champaign County Crime Stoppers. “We’ve got people who are afraid to go to Champaign right now, and we don’t want that. Crime Stoppers is all about a safe community, preventing crime obviously; but also turning people in after the fact.”

Trimble says the Crime Stoppers board would like to increase rewards for tipsters to encourage more witnesses to come forward in connection to gun related crime, like the shooting of 24-year-old Liam Gasser only weeks ago. The shooter got away in broad daylight.

“We tell the community ‘Look, if you pick up a gun in Champaign County, there’s an illegal gun bounty reward on your head. Because we want to stop the violence, and we know that someone will anonymously turn you in for $2500 or $5000,” Trimble said.

That’s the reward Crime Stoppers eventually plans to send to tipsters. But until the group can raise more money, the reward remains a maximum of $1000.

Trimble says that she and her colleagues know the program works, but they also know $1000 isn’t much anymore.

“I think that people are somewhat scared or don’t know what to do, don’t know how to get involved,” Trimble said. “This is an easy way for people to get involved and make that gun bounty reward coffer go a little higher for us so we can continue to get the information rolling in, which also gives that information to police.”

So far, Crime Stoppers has raised just over $2300 via GoFundMe, but their goal is $25,000. Trimble says if that goal is reached, Crime Stoppers will increase rewards to incentivize tipsters to come forward.

No matter the circumstances, everyone can make a difference.

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