UPDATE: As of Thursday evening, 8 News Now and Crime Stoppers raised $5,616.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Crime Stoppers is a tool that has been around for decades. Crucial to keeping Las Vegas valley streets safe, the team behind the non-profit organization said it is a great way for citizens to get involved and has become a key element in the ongoing battle against crime.

Officials from the organization said it has received approximately 400,000 tips from citizens as of March 2022. Of those tips, 200,000 have been processed, resulting in the arrests of approximately 11,000 felons.

“Crime Stoppers helps us to identify and locate some of those individuals that are committing those heinous crimes within our community,” explained Cali Gleason-Burns, Treasurer of Crime Stoppers of Nevada. “Without the help of the citizens of our community we wouldn’t be able to identify them, or we wouldn’t be able to locate them and they would continue to be repeat offenders.”

Organization leaders said anonymity is one of the factors that make the program work. Tipsters are not subject to intimidation and are reassured that their identities are confidential.

But what are the origins of the Crime Stoppers program?

The Crime Stoppers organization dates back to 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico where a frustrated detective noticed cases were not being solved.

“He wanted to bring together the community, the media, and law enforcement and provide an anonymous way for people to provide tips that would help solve these cases within the community,” recounted Eric Golebiewski, chairman of Crime Stoppers of Nevada.

The Crime Stoppers platform was created and began quickly spreading across the country and overseas. In 1979, the program arrived in Southern Nevada replacing a similar program called “Secret Witness.” That program reportedly had only $500 in its account.

“Totaling everything together have paid out about $1.6 million to our citizens throughout the community,” explained Jonathan Alvarez, of Protective Force International. “It is absolutely working.”

To help fund those tips, Crime Stoppers looks to the southern Nevada community.

“One of those sources is corporate partnerships like the Las Vegas Metropolitan Foundation,” said Steve Martinez, board member of Crime Stoppers of Nevada. “They are a big supporter of our organization and their donations help pay for our tips.”

There are so many ways to help Crime Stoppers. Donations can be made by visiting the Crime Stoppers of Nevada donation form or by calling (702) 650-1101.

Additionally, an Amazon Smile account has been established as another way to donate to Crime Stoppers while shopping on amazon.com. That is available at the following link.