Greater Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers is introducing a faster way to report crimes and suspects in 11 counties of northeast Indiana. The P3 app becomes operable Feb. 1, and can be downloaded on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
Video and photos identifying suspects can be transmitted through the app.
“Consider the fact that many homeowners now have video and photographic capability in their doorbells,” said Royce White, chairman of the Greater Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers board of directors. “This type of evidence gathering will be transferable through the power of the new P3 app directly to Crime Stoppers.”
Former Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries took over as coordinator of Greater Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers in 2019. Fries said at the time that he accepted the position with the goal of making Crime Stoppers more efficient and generating more tips.
“I first saw this app about two years ago when I viewed the tip screen generated from Central Indiana Crime Stoppers,” Fries said. “I tried to open it but couldn’t. I quickly found out that we needed the app to retrieve that information. There was little doubt that this was an application we needed badly. But the one issue I had to be sure of is that people would still have the old way of reporting crimes available to them, plus the app, and I assure you that will be the case.”
“You tell, we won’t” has been the slogan of Crime Stoppers since its inception, and that promise continues with the new application. Crime Stoppers said Anderson Software, which developed the P3 system, installed impenetrable firewalls protecting ID’s, to ensure anonymity.
The reward formula for providing a tip that leads to an arrest is scalable, yet amounts can be significant in keeping with the seriousness of the crime. For example, rewards for tips that lead to the arrest of a person who has committed a homicide are $2,500. Tips involving lesser crimes generate lesser amounts.
“Typically, we are handing out awards for tips leading to arrests at around $200,” Fries said. “We have no problem paying out rewards for tips that lead to any arrest, and if we can get a murderer off the street for $2,500, I am happy with that.”
Tips can be submitted through the website at crimestoppersfw.org, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (260) 436-STOP (7867) or 1-800-237-STOP. When a call is received, a fact sheet is filled out. The date, time and brief summary of the caller’s information is included. The call taker then assigns the caller a number. This number is used in subsequent calls to Crime Stoppers and if and when any reward is paid to the caller.
Greater Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers covers Allen, Adams, Wells, Wabash, Grant, Whitley, LaGrange, Huntington, DeKalb, Noble and Steuben counties.
Greater Fort Wayne Crime stoppers is a nonprofit organization, funded by individuals. It has been in operation in Allen County since the 1980s. The P3 app will cost the local chapter of Crime Stoppers $2,000 a year, none of which will be paid by taxpayers.