The Crime Stoppers concept originated in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1976. Its success exceeded all expectations. By the end of 1986 over 600 organizations were formed throughout the United States and Internationally. Although each operates independently, all rely on the original formula for success; that is the commitment and cooperation of law enforcement, the media, and the public to solve felony crimes and maintain caller anonymity. Today, there are over 1,200 Crime Stoppers organizations throughout the world.
Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County, Inc. is a civilian volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created through the efforts of the Chiefs of Police Association and Crime Prevention Officers Association (C.P.O.A.) after hearing about the Albuquerque, New Mexico, program. Because of the interest of C.P.O.A. to utilize all programs available in the reduction of crime, the Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County, Inc. program was formed.
The Board of Directors is made up of concerned citizens who actively help guide the program. They are directly responsible for all fund raising and the administration of the reward monies. The Board of Directors meets monthly to coordinate projects and review progress of the program.
In addition to the civilian volunteer board activities, Natali Caetano, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is the Program Coordinator, and coordinates the law enforcement and media activities as liaison to the board.
On September 9, 1981, Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County, Inc presented South Florida’s first crime re-enactment aired on WPEC, News Channel 12.
A residential area in Boca Raton was the scene of a brutal murder, selected as Crime Stoppers case number one. Within five minutes of the time it was broadcasted, a phone call was received, identifying a suspect who committed the crime and at that time the law enforcement community knew it had found a powerful ally.
In January 1994, Student Crime Stoppers was originated by it’s founder, Sgt. Jim DeFago, this was the first “Student” program working off of the original adult Crime Stoppers concept worldwide serving 180 public middle/high schools, private middle/high schools, and alternative middle/high schools in Palm Beach County.
Only anonymous callers to Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County, Inc. are eligible for cash rewards based on criteria approved by the Board of Directors. A person seeking compensation through Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County, who does not remain anonymous, such as informants, bounty hunters, etc., will not be eligible for rewards.
All “additional” reward distribution will be based on criteria reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County. “Additional” rewards are funds that are separate from Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County’s normal distribution and generally exceed Crime Stoppers maximum reward limits.
The reward distribution to anonymous callers is applicable to “Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County, Inc.” and “Student Crime Stoppers”™ programs, a volunteer civilian non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.