History

The History of Crime Stoppers  

Albuquerque, New Mexico is a city of approximately 300, 000 people, and was known for having the United State’s highest crime rate per capita in the early to mid 1970’s. Greg Macaleese, an Albuquerque Detective – Canadian born – had been investigating the gang rape of a young woman, in addition to the murder of a gas station attendant for 18 months, with no leads. Investigations were at a stand-still amid increasing pressure from politicians, his superiors, and the public. Macaleese identified a few factors he determined as obstacles in obtaining information from the public:

  1. Fear of reprisal from the accused
  2. Public apathy (They knew whom was responsible, but because of relationship with the culprit – friend, neighbour, relative, etc. no one wanted to report what they knew)
  3. Fear of going to court   

Macaleese felt that the responsibility of solving these crimes was as much a responsibility of the public and community, as it was his. Macaleese approached his superiors and requested a public meeting. His request included that Police Department Superiors, Community Leaders, Community Service Clubs, and Representatives of the Media (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.) were present at this public meeting.At the meeting, Macaleese explained problems in obtaining public information with regards to the investigation. Macaleese then requested a toll-free anonymous “hotline” from the police. From the community, Macaleese requested that funds raised be used to facilitate payment “rewards” for good information. Publication of the crimes from the media, along with the toll-free hotline was also requested – television being a prime resource for crime re-enactment.On September 8th, 1976 within 24 hours of the airing of both crime re-enactments, arrests were made for both crimes. Several persons were arrested and charged for both offensees, and convictions were later obtained. 

Detective Macaleese was astounded by the success of the hotline, and CRIME STOPPERS was born. Macaleese made the prediction that 25 crimes would be solved in the first year of operation of the CRIME STOPPERS program. He was wrong. In it’s first year, CRIME STOPPERS Albuquerque solved 288 cases, and recovered $250,000.00 in stolen goods.CRIME STOPPERS quickly spread throughout the United States… In 1982 CRIME STOPPERS extended its reach to Canada – Calgary, Alberta, followed by Lethbridge, Alberta became the first two Canadian cities to begin CRIME STOPPERS.Manitoba CRIME STOPPERS Association Inc. was established in July of 1985. The program in Manitoba has tremendous success, and is made up of three programs in the Province:

The three programs have 5 separate coordinators and boards that function independently of each other. We maintain a close liaison to maintain consistency in the programs

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