Crime Stoppers was the brainchild of  Canadian-born Greg MacAleese, a Detective with the Albuquerque Police  Department in New Mexico. In 1976, Greg had run out of leads in a  homicide investigation and out of frustration had appealed to the public  for assistance. He went so far as to produce the first crime  re-enactment, which aired on local television, and was also made  available for radio and the press. Anyone providing information  regarding this murder was to be eligible for a cash reward.

Within  hours of the broadcast, an individual called in valuable information  that resulted in the arrest and conviction of two suspects who were  sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

The  growth has been dramatic, with Crime Stoppers programs implemented in  more than 1,200 communities worldwide. In November 1982, Calgary became  the first Canadian city to start the program, followed by Hamilton in  1983. Hamilton was the first city in Ontario to implement the program  and there are currently over 112 programs across Canada with 38 programs  in Ontario.

Durham Region

In April 1986, Chief of Police, Jon Jenkins, gathered a select group of civilians and created the Crime Stoppers Program in Durham, which became part of the Toronto  and Regional Crime Stoppers Boards (TRCSB), made up of Metro Toronto, Peel,  York and Durham. Each region had its own board with representation on  the TRCSB.  In 1989 Durham Regional Crime Stoppers obtained its own Charter and Not-For-Profit status, and resigned from the Toronto and Region  Crime Stoppers Board.

The primary goal of Durham Regional Crime Stoppers is to encourage the public to communicate criminal activity. The program shares those tips with the police for investigation while the tipster remains completely anonymous. Should a tip result in an arrest a monetary reward will be issued.

Durham Regional Crime Stoppers would like to give thanks to the community for 35 years of continued support. This milestone is a direct result of donations from the public, corporate sponsors and funds raised from various charity events.

The endless outpouring of anonymous tips, dedication to reducing crime and facilitate justice make Durham Region a safer place to call home.

Since inception, Durham Regional Crime Stoppers has received over 41,000 tips, resulting in 3,984 arrests, $7.5 million in property recovered, $83.4 million in drugs seized and over $625,000 awarded to tipsters for reporting these crimes.

For 35 years, this program has been an outstanding success. This year, Durham Regional Crime Stoppers aims to continue keeping our neighborhoods safe by targeting human trafficking and drug related crimes.

Remember, crime doesn’t pay but Crime Stoppers does

As many of you may have heard, Toronto Crime Stoppers recently announced they would be suspending payment of cash rewards beginning this year. Funds previously used for rewards will instead go to areas in the city impacted by crime. 

Members of the public are reminded that this project is happening exclusively in Toronto and all other Canadian Crime Stoppers programs, including Durham, continue to offer the availability of cash rewards which are approved by volunteer Crime Stoppers Boards.

According to the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association, the foundation of Crime Stoppers is to protect the anonymity of the tipster.  To encourage the public to report information on criminal activity both proactively and reactively.  Crime Stoppers programs offer the availability of cash rewards up to $2,000.  

Not all tipsters are motivated by the availability of a reward, and many report crime believing it is their civic responsibility. The reward still offers motivation for many people calling in with useful information.

Visit the Durham Regional Crime Stoppers website for more information or to report a tip.

About the Author

Bryen writes about local Durham community news, including regional events, municipality updates, entertainment, lifestyle, and the great outdoors. Email him directly if you want your business profiled or know a community member that deserves recognition -