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Trinity Standard - Local News

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Trinity County Crime Stoppers are here to help
Trinity Standard -

By Kevin Reifenschheider

Trinity Standard sat down with Larry Grant, the chairman of Trinity County Crime Stoppers for the last 7 years. Crime Stoppers' main goal is to solve crimes, Grant said. Guaranteeing anonymity is one way that the organization can achieve that. Crime Stoppers uses a "3-legged stool" consisting of law enforcement, the media and the community (in the form of a volunteer board in Trinity County) to close major cases. They also have just recently joined forces with the Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers to increase their coverage area and partner with other organizations in the county to provide and give access to even more support services. Tips are submitted via phone or through the website. Grant said that fear and apathy are the main obstacles to arresting the persons responsible in felony crimes. That this is the reason Crime Stoppers is strictly anonymous. The organization is protected by law from any agency that might seek to force them to identify a tipster, if they know. In most cases, no one knows who is leaving the tip. Once a tipster files a report by phone or through the website they are assigned a number which will be used for future correspondence, if any, or paying a reward following an arrest. Once in the system, reports are routed by coordinators to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. If an arrest is made the determined reward is placed in holding at a bank that the tipster can then claim using his ID number. Rewards come from the court system in the form of a fee paid by defendant's as a form of restitution. Trinity County Crime Stoppers holds one main fundraiser each year in the form of a gala to boost community awareness, as well as honor law enforcement. Last year, tickets to the event were $25 a person and included a dinner (provided free to officers) and a chance to meet and greet with several officials and officers as well. The food is provided by Crime Stoppers and cooked by volunteers allowing a better meal to be provided. This year the Trinity High School Beta club volunteered to serve the meal. They raised just short of $10,000 to be used in the community. In the past, these donations have provided things such as armored vests for police officers, ID kits for child kidnapping prevention and software that can help officers pull information from cell phones of people involved in drug or other serious offenses. Other local outreach programs are also sponsored by funds raised to help in areas such as counseling, SAAFE House, domestic violence and other abuses and even human trafficking. To find out more or to submit a tip give the Trinity County Crime Stoppers a call at (936) 639-8477 (TIPS) or visit their website at www. trinitycountytips.com. Deep East Texas Crime Stoppers can be reached at the same phone number or by visiting www.639tips.com. To become a member contact Larry Grant at (936) 662-1502. You must pass a background check to be eligible.


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