Citizens to Help Police Attract Anonymous Tips

Citizens are meeting with city councilors in an effort to fight crime. They are part of a new Public Intelligence Working Group. That is a fancy way of saying, they are generating more anonymous tips for law enforcement.

The killing of four women at the Fairmont Terrace triggered this new development. But there were other homicides in the past 12 months that supported the initiative. The Good Friday shootings startled families, when innocent people were shot down, at random. The Best Buy shootings killed one man and an innocent shopper in the electronics store.

The city council says the goal of this new task force is to find ways to get citizens to work with police. This involves the anonymous tipline, Crimestoppers, and ways to make the message more appealing to citizens, who may not trust police.

"It is solely to determine how we can do a better job of developing anonymous tips, for our police department. This group is going to be meeting for one month and that's it. We don't want it to be something that runs on. We understand this is an urgent issue," said Councilman, G.T. Bynum.

Carol Bush oversees Crimestoppers through the Crime Prevention Network. She says privacy is a must. They can't afford to damage community trust.

"There have been Crimestoppers around the country that have been shut down because the anonymity has been compromised. We have very strict policies and firewalls in place and that is why since 1979, no ones anonymity has been compromised," said Bush.

The biggest problem with 61st and Peoria is the density of apartments and people, according to Bynum. But he says anonymous tips are the priority at this point.