January in Texas is “Crime Stoppers Month,” celebrating over 4,000 suspect arrests in 2023 thanks to the public and the organization’s volunteers.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation in December stating that January would mark an awareness-building campaign for the organization.
“Organizations such as Crime Stoppers foster solidarity throughout our state while motivating Texans to play an active role in combating criminal activity. … I encourage all Texans to learn more about Crime Stoppers programs in their area to promote a safer, more secure future,” the proclamation reads.
Since it began in 1981, Texas Crime Stoppers has grown to approximately 150 certified groups run by local volunteers dedicated to fostering an effective partnership between citizens and law enforcement with the common goal of promoting public safety.
To this end, more than 20,000 volunteer hours were logged in 2023 in order to process some 26,000 anonymous tips submitted through the hotline 1-800-252-TIPS. These efforts brought thousands of alleged perpetrators to justice and led to the seizure of roughly $5.4 million worth of narcotics.
Moreover, over $470,000 in rewards were paid to tipsters whose information led to arrests and convictions. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure authorizes judges to order felony probationers to compensate local Crime Stopper groups for rewards.
Texas Crime Stoppers has a student ambassador program during which time youths learn leadership skills, foster community relationships, and write an article to be featured in the organization’s monthly newsletter. A dozen students are selected each year and the deadline to apply is January 12.
In Dallas, crime rates have remained high amid a longstanding officer shortage within the Dallas Police Department. As previously covered in The Dallas Express, the effects of this deficit are most apparent in Downtown Dallas, which saw a 7% hike in criminal offenses reported between 2022 and 2023.
While DPD fields approximately 3,000 officers, a City report recommended closer to 4,000 to adequately serve the public safety needs of Dallas residents. By comparison, Fort Worth’s downtown area, which is patrolled by a specialized police unit and private security guards, sees considerably lower rates of crime.