Crime Stoppers is a program that allows a member of the community to provide anonymous information about a crime or criminal activity. It allows the person to provide crime solving assistance to the authorities without being directly involved in the investigation process. Anyone calling crime stoppers will remain completely anonymous and callers can receive a rewarded up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of a suspect.
The Otero County Sheriff's Department is an active participant in this program.
History of Crime Stoppers
The Crime Stoppers program began in 1976 in Albuquerque New Mexico. A young University of New Mexico student was working at a small gas station in Albuquerque’s Northeast when he was gunned down in an armed robbery. Detective Greg MacAleese was one of the detectives working the case. The murder seemed so senseless at the time. It still remains senseless today, but Detective MacAleese told the mother of the young man that he would bring his killers to justice. And yet, after six weeks of trying to piece evidence together to solve the murder, they were no closer to a solution than they were the night he was killed.
Detective Greg MacAleese had an idea of asking a TV station to reenact the crime and broadcast it. The only logical approach was to get the media involved in helping find an eyewitness to the crime. The reenactment of the crime might trigger the memory of a potential eyewitness; someone who might have seen part of the crime committed but not understood what he or she was witnessing.
On September 8, 1976, at 10 p.m., the first crime reenactment was broadcast on the news. The next morning Albuquerque Metro received a call from a young man who told them that he had watched and remembered some very important information. The case was solved. In addition, police received information that solved a handful of other local crimes. Local business people and citizens quickly volunteered their time, talent, and money to give birth to Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers.
Making Our World a Safer Place
There are now more than 1,100 Crime Stoppers programs throughout the world, in 16 countries, and it all started in Albuquerque. Many thanks to the thousands of concerned citizens that have donated their time, talent, and money over the years to make our communities - and our world - a safer place to work and play.
Since its first chapter was officially formed in Albuquerque in 1976, Crime Stoppers in the United States has been responsible for more than half a million arrests and more than $4 billion U.S. dollars in recovered property.
Further Historic Information
For more information about the history of Crime Stoppers please visit the Albuquerque Crime Stoppers website.