Trust Pays program marks
10 years fighting crime in schools
As back-to-school rituals get under way this month, CrimeStoppers is  marking the 10th anniversary of a program dedicated to making schools safer - Trust Pays.
It was the summer of 2007 when the program putting CrimeStoppers on school grounds moved from an idea in executive director Buddy Chapman's mind into daily school-day reality with a launch in the city and county school systems.
The program was an instant success, thanks to a generous initial grant from the Plough Foundation, and because then-superintendent of Memphis City Schools Carol Johnson strongly believed in the concept. In fact, she suggested the program's name.
Trust Pays started in high schools, then was added to middle schools and even has been used in some elementary schools. Each month a board of citizens reviews Trust Pays tips and determines awards to be paid to students who wish payment.    
The concept is simple. If a student knows of something bad happening or planned - or that another student has brought an illicit object or substance to school, such as a weapon or drugs - the student tells someone he or she trusts, and that information is acted on by the school principal or law enforcement, or both. The helpful student can receive a monetary award.
The program has been used in a majority of local public schools and some private schools, uncovering thefts, gang fights, drug sales and hidden weapons.
The program is an undoubted success. In 10 years:

* 154 guns have been removed from schools.
* 364 other weapons - knives, razors, boxcutters, pepper sprays, Tazers - have been confiscated.
* 880 cases of drug possession and sales were thwarted.
Along the way, authorities  were able to solve thefts, cases of vandalism, drive-by campus shootings, and gang fights.
During the past three years, the number of Trust Pays cases began to diminish. It appears this is because Trust Pays is succeeding, now acting as its own deterrent.


Tip brings big award in robbery 

Even Memphians inured to reports of crime and violence were moved to indignant anger when a 95-year-old woman was accosted in July by a purse-snatcher and dragged several feet on the concrete as she instinctively held on for a few seconds outside a department store at Oak Court Mall. The woman suffered cuts, sprains and broken teeth as the tall, young man fled the scene.

Everyone was glad to see the arrest of Adrew Richardson, 21, several days later.

What most didn't know is that the arrest resulted from a tip to CrimeStoppers from a citizen  who recognized Richardson on a security video tape. After an arrest, a witness also identified Richardson as the robber.

It turns out the man has a long adult criminal record for someone his age, including an earlier purse-snatching in 2014 and two recent car thefts. He had been paroled twice, most recently in April.

When the case came before the CrimeStoppers awards committee, the anonymous tipster was awarded $900 in the case. As one member of the awards committee said, "This is especially grievous because of the age of the poor woman."

CopperStoppers was created by CrimeStoppers in collaboration with businesses to fight the theft of and illegal sales, purchases and transportation out of town of copper and other scrap metals.

Copper stripped from wiring, appliances, plumbing or electrical boxes may bring hundreds of dollars when sold, but often results in thousands of dollars in damages to homes, apartments, churches and other facilities.

Special awards up to $1,000 are available for information leading to arrests. 
Help stop the criminals - the "copperheads" - doing economic harm to our community.

Visit for information on how to help.      
Help spread the word

If you like - we hope you do! - you can help the cause against the metal thieves by liking our new CopperStoppers Facebook page. And tell your friends, co-workers and acquaintances.

While you're at it, let them know about the main CrimeStoppers Facebook page too.

Cold case
A $10,000 extra award has been offered for information that helps bring about an arrest and charge in a double-homicide case from 17 years ago - October 9, 1989.

Nancy Little, a 32-year-old black female, was found slain inside her 1988 white Honda parked in front of 2061 Slate Road, which was several miles from her home.

She was eight and a half months pregnant. Any information could help solve this cold case. Call CrimeStoppers at 528-CASH (2274).

Officers are 
the most trusted
CrimeStoppers data in Trust Pays cases demonstrates that - at least in the schools - there are no problems between police and the community.
The program is designed so that students who have a tip are urged to go to the person they trust the most. The vast majority of students go directly to police officers and Sheriff's deputies who are posted to the schools.
"I think it shows how much trust there really is in the men and women wearing blue," said CrimeStoppers executive director Buddy Chapman.

Tips, arrests continue to increase 

The number of tips called in to CrimeStoppers and the number of resulting arrests continue to show increases.  
Comparing the 2016 year-to-date figures with those from 2015: 

The volume of tips has increased 11.90%.

The number of felony arrests due to tips was up 

And the rate of tips that proved successful increased  26.53%.

We're working together to make our community safer for all. Help spread the word that CrimeStoppers works.

Websites building new awareness

CrimeStoppers and its many programs are explained - and the public is engaged - in various places on the internet.
Our main website explains the organization's purpose, and keeps count on major cases in which police need help from citizens - 
A companion site helps students keep their schools safer -
Senior citizens who are afraid or otherwise need help can find information they can use at another site -
Spanish-speaking citizens can learn about CrimeStoppers on a fourth site -
Now, because the theft of copper and other metals has become a major problem in the metro area we have launched a website for our newest program, CopperStoppers: