Corpus Christi Crime Stoppers uses mystery and intrigue to increase support.
By: D’Anne Buquet
Operated by a local volunteer board, Corpus Christi Crime Stoppers (CCCS) acts as an avenue for the citizens of Corpus Christi to report crimes anonymously, and it pays cash rewards to the anonymous tipsters for tips that lead to the arrest of suspects and/or the recovery of stolen property or drugs.
In 2014, CCCS received a total of 2,157 tips and paid $17,580 in rewards to anonymous tipsters. Since the program’s establishment in 1981, CCCS has paid more than $550,500 in rewards and recovered $3,949,621 worth of stolen property, proving the program works.
To ensure the continued success of the program, funding for tips is crucial. Fortunately, the organization receives support from our local judges who assign portions of their court probation fees to CCCS. But these donations are not enough to sustain a financially healthy program.
To engage the community and encourage more donations, the board of volunteers has found success by hosting cleverly themed fundraisers and mixers filled with mystery and intrigue. Last year, CCCS had a full house when they sold out of tickets to their annual murder mystery event honoring local judges, complete with a full dinner as a butler led guests in a live-action whodunit. Guests worked in teams to solve the mystery as more clues were revealed. The winning team won a prize package of over $1,000.
This year, CCCS is hosting two can’t-miss events to raise awareness and funds. On Thursday, April 9, 2015, CCCS is hosting a “Mugshot Mixer” at House of Rock, featuring Corpus Christi’s Chief of Police Floyd Simpson, Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin and Corpus Christi Fire Chief Robert Rocha. Each featured speaker will brief the audience on the current state of their department. For $10 entry, guests will be “booked” at the door and given a complimentary mugshot. Appetizers and beverages will be included.
The third annual CCCS Murder Mystery will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, at La Stanza Downtown Event Center. This imaginative fundraiser honors local district judges as they portray suspects at a murderous dinner party. For sponsorship or ticket information, please visit www.facebook.com/corpuschristicrimestoppers or email email@example.com. Seating is limited, so securing reservations immediately is encouraged.
The CCCS board of volunteers consists of business professionals and educators. Even though CCCS is not part of the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD), it works closely with designated CCPD officers who act as liaisons between the board, the police department, other law enforcement agencies and the media. Additionally, the board advises and financially supports local high school and middle school Campus Crime Stoppers.
To submit a tip, call CCCS at 888-TIPS (8477), log on to www.tipsubmit.com or download the TipSubmit mobile app. No matter how a tip is submitted, all tipsters remain anonymous.
D’Anne Buquet is a Corpus Christi Crime Stoppers board member. For more information on the Corpus Christi Crime Stoppers program, visit www.888tips.com, or call Corpus Christi Police Department liaison, Senior Officer Kirk Stowers, at 361-814-2360.