25 Feb Jacksonville/Onslow County Crime Stoppers offer rewards to students
The Jacksonville/Onslow County Crime Stoppers board recently acted to encourage schoolchildren to participate in community safety. The board authorized rewards for tip-offs from students who report suspected crimes through their School Resource Officer.
The presence of School Resource Officers is now expanding from the middle and high schools to the elementary schools. In fact, the Crime Stoppers program has been working in cooperation with schools throughout Onslow County since the group was founded 20 years ago. School officials even hang posters on school bulletin boards to ensure student awareness of the Crime Stoppers program.
Joe Yannessa, chairman of the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors, told JDNews.com that students providing tip-offs have provided significant assistance to law enforcement in recent and older cases. For instance, one student’s tip led to the arrest of a former teacher accused of having inappropriate relationships with students. Another tip helped to resolve an estimated 20 theft cases involving vehicle break-ins and other theft cases.
Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Col. Chris Thomas stressed the importance of teaching children that they should tell someone if they hear or see something that does not seem right. Not only does reporting what they see assist in solving crimes, but it can also prevent them.
Education about contributing to community safety begins at home.
Thomas said, “Parents are the biggest influence for a child and can encourage them that it is OK to call law enforcement.”
Yannessa said the awards the board authorized in its recent decision are the highest amounts it has offered to students in years. In fact, the board can authorize rewards as large as $2,500. Those rewards go to students whose tip-offs lead to the apprehension of anyone suspected of a criminal act.
The Jacksonville/Onslow County Crime Stoppers organization is the only joint program with the military in the United States.
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