Praising our partners is the key message Halton Crime Stoppers is delivering during the celebration of January as Crime Stoppers Month.
Since 1988, when the program began in this region, Halton Crime Stoppers has worked closely with various organizations and agencies to improve the safety and security for residents of Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills.
From the inception of the world’s first program in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1976, the success of Crime Stoppers has been uniting the community, media and police in a three way partnership in the battle against crime.
The statistics achieved in Halton demonstrate the vital role that Crime Stoppers plays to take tips from anonymous callers and provide the information to police to assist them in solving a myriad of crimes.
Last year tips to Halton Crime Stoppers led to the arrest of 28 individuals, the recovery of $83,936 in stolen property, and the seizure of illegal drugs with a street value of $21,527. Statistics also show that since Halton Crime Stoppers came into existence, tips to the program have led to the arrests of 1,119 people, the recovery of $2,643,517 in stolen property and the seizure of drugs worth $17,995,013 on the street.
“It is an extremely valuable program that not only assists police in the fight against crime, but creates safer neighborhoods and makes residents feel much more secure,” said Detective Constable Paul Proteau, Coordinator of Halton’s Crime Stoppers program.
“Crime Stoppers is also much more effective because of the cooperation it receives from various partners who establish initiatives to alert people about crime concerns or fund projects that directly tackle criminal activity in the community,” Proteau said. “Partnerships formed within the community, through the media or with the police, are truly the lifeblood of Crime Stoppers. They create the awareness that generates the tips to help solve crime.”
Halton Crime Stoppers planned a Jan. 11 reception in the Bronte Room at the Halton Regional Centre to recognize the partners they have worked with through the years including Halton Regional Police and other police agencies in the region, the Canadian Border Services, the Ontario Humane Society and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
Other partners being recognized include Halton’s four Chamber of Commerce groups which were instrumental in the formation of Crime Stoppers and have provided support through the years, local Fire Services, the Halton District School Board and the Halton Catholic District School Board, the Canadian Distillers Association, Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission, Halton Region Community and Social Services, the Canadian Bankers Association, Mac’s Crime Busters and the Canadian Insurance Bureau, as well as many others.
In addition, all local media outlets have been tremendous supporters of Halton Crime Stoppers since its inception, including the Metroland Community Newspaper Group, which publishes the Oakville Beaver, Burlington Post, the Georgetown Independent and Free Press and the Milton Canadian Champion. Other strong media supporters are Cogeco Cable, Snap newspapers, CHCH-TV and all local radio stations.
“Crime Stoppers benefits from the support provided by our partners, but the real winners are the residents across Halton who live in one of the safest areas in Canada,” said Jennifer L. Olchowy, Chair of the Crime Stoppers Month launch committee.
Speakers at the launch include Norm Bellefontaine, Chair of Halton Crime Stoppers, Police Chief Steve Tanner, Jamie Frye, an intelligence analyst with the Ontario Racing Commission, Paula Norlock, Provincial Enforcement Specialist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and John Sawyer, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.
A number of proclamations or letters of support were prepared by the municipalities, which comprise Halton and Halton Region Chair Gary Carr, recognized the efforts of Crime Stoppers saying the cooperation, trust and team environment fostered with Halton Police, the local media and resident of Halton have created an invaluable partnership that benefits all of us.
“Halton Regional Council is committed to the health and safety of our residents, and it is a privilege to have organizations like Crime Stoppers of Halton and Halton Regional Police Services working in our community toward the same goal,” Carr’s letter states.
“Your diligence and hard work does not go unnoticed and is greatly appreciated,” he said. “On behalf of Regional Council, I’d like to say thank you to the volunteers, partners and supporter of Crime Stoppers of Halton for your dedication to creating a safe community and for helping to preserve our quality of life. Working together, we can help ensure that Halton remains a great place to work, raise a family and retire.”
Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette commended Crime Stoppers for making all communities within the Region safer places to live, work and raise families.
“On behalf of the Council for the Town of Halton Hills, I offer our collective support in all of your 2016 Crime Stoppers endeavours,” Bonnette’s letter stated. “This year Crime Stoppers is focusing their efforts on the partnerships in our community and the Town of Halton Hills is proud to be a partner.”
He also thanked the volunteers, partners and supporters of Crime Stoppers saying their efforts contribute to the quality of life we enjoy and also said “for the sixth consecutive year, our region has been named the safest large municipality in Canada.”
A proclamation from Oakville Mayor Rob Burton says the success of Halton Crime Stoppers, a non-profit, charitable organization, is due to a partnership between the Halton Police Service, the community and media, but required continuing recognition and support from all levels of government to ensure the program can continue the level of success achieved through the years.
“Crime Stoppers of Halton has been extremely effective not only in assisting police to fight crime, but has also undertaken a number of initiatives to improve the quality of life and make things safer for resident of communities within Halton Region,” Mayor Burton said.
A proclamation from Milton Mayor Gord Krantz also cited the success Crime Stoppers has had in improving community safety and Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring said the incredible success of Crime Stoppers is due to the continued support from residents and organization.
“We all benefit when concerned people watch out for each other and report crimes to appropriate authorities,” Mayor Goldring said. “This type of support between residents and our police improves the quality of life and safety for the entire community.”
Crime Stoppers programs across Canada and other parts of the world have celebrated Crime Stoppers Month since 1986 when the delegates at the annual Crime Stoppers International training conference in Edmonton adopted January as the official date for the observance.
Since that time Crime Stoppers Month has been recognized by various world leaders including a number of U.S. Presidents, several Canadian Prime Ministers and Queen Elizabeth, as well as police leaders worldwide, including several directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Commissioners of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and heads of state, provincial and municipal law enforcement organizations.