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Crime Stoppers of Hamilton Inc.

The first Crime Stoppers programme in Ontario started in Hamilton. Early in 1982, Hamilton Police Chief Gordon V. Torrance attended an International Chiefs of Police Training Conference and saw a presentation on a new concept that would make a difference in policing. He brought the idea back to Hamilton and asked one of his officers to study the Crime Stoppers program in order to establish such a programme in Hamilton.

This initiative was carried out with the help of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and its members. After months of planning, Crime Stoppers of Hamilton Inc. started operations in May 1983. Detective Jim Willis was the first Program Coordinator and Mr. Bernie Gillespie, of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce was the first Chairperson.

A civilian Board of Directors from the business, professional and citizen community was formed. The Board was responsible for setting policies for the operation of the program. These included promoting the program, raising money from the community to pay rewards and cover the costs of administering the program.

Crime Stoppers is a citizen program that works to help stop, prevent and solve crime. Crime Stoppers is an investigative tool that relies equally on the co-operation of law enforcement, the media and the community. Crime Stoppers encourages citizens to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously with information about crimes already committed or about to be committed. The guarantee of anonymity, promise to not appear in court as a witness, and the offer of a cash reward has proven to be an effective tool.

The hot-line number 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) is well known throughout North America and is open 24/7.

The founder of Crime Stoppers was in Hamilton to address a national conference. We sat down with Greg MacAleese to find out how the program started.

From re-enacting crimes, to allowing people to remain anonymous and offering rewards. See the video here: