Simply stated, the Crime Stoppers concept is based on the principle that someone — other than the criminal — has information that can solve or prevent a crime.
Crime Stoppers enlists the help of local concerned citizens and then pays for that help. Everyone in the Ocala / Marion County community is asked to get involved in fighting crime by giving confidential leads and information to assist law enforcement in bringing criminals to justice.
How Does It Work?
The most important element of Crime Stoppers is the Crime Report Tips Line 368-STOP. People who have any information about any crime — past, present or future — are encouraged to call the confidential Tips Line. Maintaining a discrete and highly-secure procedure, the information is passed along to the appropriate law enforcement agency, without identifying the caller in any way, shape or form. If the tip leads to an arrest or recovery of property, the caller may receive a reward of up to $1,000.
Who Benefits from Crime Stoppers?
We all do. Crime Stoppers has been a proven, effective crime deterrent, since the idea was conceived in Albuquerque, New Mexico more than 30 years ago. Operating on the proven theory that the community has thousands of vigilant “eyes and ears,” lawbreakers and felons receive a stern message that crime will not be tolerated in Marion County. Our community becomes a much safer place for ourselves and future generations.
Who Is Crime Stoppers of Marion County, Inc.?
Crime Stoppers of Marion County, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is not a government agency or program. The purpose of Crime Stoppers, as described in the corporate bylaws, is to “furnish law enforcement agencies with information on unsolved crimes, on wanted persons, and other criminal activity; lessen neighborhood tensions, promote community involvement in all aspects of law enforcement; promote a community offensive against violent and property crimes; and motivate the public to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, and to reward such cooperation.”
What Law Enforcement Agencies Participate?
All law enforcement agencies in Marion County participate in the Crime Stoppers network, including the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Ocala Police Department, Dunnellon Police Department, Belleview Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Game & Fish Commission. There is a local law enforcement coordinator, who reports directly to the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors. Additionally, each law enforcement agency is represented on the Board of Directors.
Who Provides Funding for Crime Stoppers?
Major funding comes directly from the local community in the form of cash, goods and services provided by businesses, individuals, civic and social organizations and the media. Additional dollars come from a grant, administered by the Florida Attorney General’s office, with funds emanating from the local courts. These funds originate from a per-case surcharge on each felony conviction in Marion County.