Crime Stoppers receives funding from Alberta government for 1st time

For the first time ever, volunteer-led, donation-run Crime Stoppers is getting funding from the government of Alberta.

The province announced Wednesday it would spend $850,000 over the next three years to support Crime Stoppers’ work — $350,000 this year and $500,000 over the next two years.

Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said the decision was made “heeding the advice” of RCMP and local police departments and chiefs.

Shandro said that in 2020, Crime Stoppers’ four Alberta chapters handled 18,000 tips which led to 400 arrests, 1,724 charges and the recovery of more than $4 million in cash, drugs and stolen property.

Until now, Crime Stoppers has relied on donations and fundraising.

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The not-for-profit group started in Calgary in 1982 and asks Albertans to provide police with anonymous information about crime or potential crime.

“For the first time ever, our government will provide Crime Stoppers with direct funding to continue its historic work,” Shandro said, adding Crime Stoppers works with local police services and also conducts public education.

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Edmonton police chief Dale McFee said citizens are the “eyes and the ears” of the community and that “no one is more invested” in a community’s safety and well-being than the people who live there.

“Crime Stoppers is a valuable resource for the Edmonton Police Service. Thanks to this partnership, they have become integral in assisting our service in solving crimes in our communities. Their collaboration is fundamental to our success.”

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Mark Holik, director of Alberta Crime Stoppers, said the grant will provide unique opportunities for the group.

“We are a volunteer-led organization that has, until now, solely relied on private funding from individuals and businesses.”

Holik said Crime Stoppers will continue to fundraise in order to pay out tip rewards.

“We work closely with law enforcement across the province, however, we have always been a separate entity from the police,” Holik said. “Our mission is to help solve and prevent crime by providing anonymous tip reporting online, through our app or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. We also provide education and crime-specific initiatives to Alberta communities.”

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