NYPD Crime Stoppers: What You Need to Know

Frank James – the man suspected of opening fire at a Brooklyn subway station on Tuesday morning – called police to let them know he was at a McDonald’s on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, two law enforcement sources say who spoke to CNN. While police did not find James at the McDonald’s, they quickly found him nearby and arrested him without incident.

The Crime Stoppers Hotline was created so that townspeople could share information about crimes anonymously and be rewarded for their good advice. Here’s what we know about the initiative.

It’s a decades-long partnership between the NYPD and the New York City Police Foundation, a nonprofit that raises funds to support the NYPD, according to the foundation’s website.

Crime Stoppers is offering up to $3,500 in cash rewards for anonymous tips that lead to an arrest and indictment for a violent crime.

The program says tips are anonymous, telling tipsters on its website that Crime Stoppers will never ask their name, record their call, or track or trace phone numbers or online submissions. The program also says that people who tip will not have to make a statement to the police or appear in court.

It seeks information on violent crimes, including homicides, sexual assaults, robberies and shootings, although the hotline says it is “always open to receiving advice related to any type of crime”.

Crime Stoppers lists violent crimes for which the NYPD seeks guidance on its “search page,” which provides information including video, photos, address, and description of the incident.

How it works?

People with information about a violent crime can call the hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, submit their tip via an online form or the CS-NYC mobile app.

Tipsters have the ability to submit details such as names of potential suspects, license plate numbers, and drug activity. They can also upload videos, images, audio or documents that may be relevant to the search for a suspect.

In 2019, the initiative also launched an app where users can view wanted notices and submit information.

Once information is submitted, tipsters should receive a reference number and can call back for a follow-up after a week, the program’s website says.

Where does the money come from?

The NYC Police Foundation funds Crime Stoppers, administers the awards and promotes the program through public awareness campaigns, according to the foundation’s website.

The foundation says the program “cannot be funded by traditional law enforcement resources” to ensure caller anonymity and maintain rewards. The nonprofit instead relies on donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to fund the program, he says.

Since its inception in 1983, Crime Stoppers has distributed more than $2.7 million in rewards, according to the Police Foundation’s 2021 annual report.

CNN’s Mark Morales and Brynn Gingras contributed to this report.

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