The Winona Area Crime Stoppers Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, December 18th at the Timbers Restaurant in Winona.
The election of officers for the year 2013 resulted in Wayne Valentine of Winona as Chairman, Darryl Smelser of Rollingstone as Vice-chairman, Dean Beckman of Winona as Treasurer, and David Eckert of Minnesota City as Secretary.
Crime Stoppers is a program that involves the public, the news media, and the county law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime. It provides anonimity to people reportinig information and provides a reward for information that leads to the arrest and formal charging of offenders. Winona Area Crimestoppers is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization and is funded entirely through tax deductible donations which come from private citizens and area businesses.
Several rewards were made during this past year for tips that have lead to a conviction.
Individuals can call the tip line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and leave their information with the officer in charge. The local phone number is 507-457-6530. Individuals can also make use of the web site at www.winonaareacrimestoppers.com. and have access to the tip line. Regardless of which way is chosen, those offering tips remain anonymous.
Crime Stoppers encourages the public to provide information by offering a cash reward. When a call is received for Crime Stoppers at the Law Enforcement Center, it is logged in with the date, time, and a brief summary of the caller’s information. There is no pressure for the caller to reveal his or her identity. If a caller’s information results in a conviction, arrangements are made for the caller to receive a cash reward. The amount that is rewarded is determined by the type of crime that was committed. Information on any unsolved crime is welcomed.
The best tips to report are those that are factual and that can be substantiated. These include: names, dates, and times of a crime; the positive identification of a suspect; the license plate number of any vehicle involved; identifiable characteristics of any suspects, and the personal knowledge of any crime.
The Board of Directors meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Timbers Restaurant with the meeting beginning at 8:00 a.m. The time, date, and location (especially if a change is taking place) are announced in the local paper. If you are interested in becoming a board member, an application form may be obtained at the Law Enforcement Center. The application will be considered by the Board at its monthly meeting.