Law Enforcement Cullman County Sheriff’s Office partners with Crime Stoppers | CullmanSense

Law Enforcement

Cullman County Sheriff’s Office partners with Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers Board Member Frank Barefield, left, and Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry at a press conference announcing the partnership between the sheriff's office and Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama Tuesday morning. / Heather Mann

CULLMAN - The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama (CSMA). On Tuesday morning, Sheriff Matt Gentry held a press conference to announce the details. CSMA partners with eight counties: Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Walker and now Cullman. Gentry was optimistic about the opportunities provided by the partnership, saying it will provide an avenue for citizens to step in and help keep the county safe.

Crime Stoppers is a partnership between law enforcement agencies, news media and private citizens. Its goal is to gather information to help law enforcement solve crimes and locate criminals with outstanding felony warrants. CSMA solicits anonymous tips from the community and forwards those tips to the relevant investigating agency. Successful tips can result in a cash reward between $300-$5,000, depending on the severity of the crime and the number of crimes solved from the tip. Tipsters remain 100 percent anonymous.

Since its inception in 1981, CSMA has helped local law enforcement make more than 2,400 arrests, clear more than 5,800 cases and approved more than $818,000 in rewards. Numbers of arrests and cleared cases have risen steadily over the years, and CSMA anticipates more than 1,000 arrests and 2,000 cleared cases for 2017.

When asked how the partnership will affect him as sheriff, Gentry replied, "This is an investigative tool that we need to reach other locations besides Cullman County. With us having so many miles of I-65 in the county, we have so many people coming in that aren't from Cullman, and this just gives us a broader band of reach." He also said that the expanded reach would help identify and catch criminals who may have fled to another county.

Anyone who would like to report a tip can contact Crime Stoppers by calling 205-254-7777, texting 274637 (begin your message with 7777), visiting www.crimestoppersmetroal.com, or messaging CSMA through its Facebook page (Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama). All tips are anonymous, and cash rewards are paid out every Monday.

CSMA program is administered by private citizens through a Board of Directors.  Strict adherence to By-Laws and Board approved protocols is maintained to ensure the integrity of the program.  The CSMA Executive Director and Law Enforcement Coordinators, sworn law enforcement officers, assigned to the program by the Birmingham Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office administer the day-to-day operation of the program and report monthly to the Board of Directors. 

CSMA is not a law enforcement agency but works in partnership with law enforcement agencies, obtaining information on unsolved crimes and wanted criminals to be published to the community through media sources such as TV stations, radio stations and billboards.  Crime Stoppers also distributes information about unsolved crimes and wanted persons through our website at www.crimestoppersmetroal.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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