Officials with the Conway Police Department have added another tool to their arsenal in their fight against crime.
The department has joined forces with other area law enforcement agencies as members of the Central Arkansas Crime Stoppers, Inc.
A.J. Gary, chief of police, said he believes the partnership will help his department, but will also be a benefit to all agencies involved.
"The main reason we got involved is because we know crime just doesn’t stop at a city limit or a county line," he said. "By being connected, it helps us get information out that could benefit all agencies in central Arkansas. If the person committing the crime goes to other areas throughout the state, we need to be able to share information that could make a difference in whether they are located or not."
While speaking with board members and Arkansas business owners during the quarterly meeting held at the Conway Police Department, Randy Johnson, chairman of the organization, described an aspect of the Crime Stopper’s program that could serve law enforcement agencies well as they try to solve cold cases.
"By using the program to remind the public of the details about a case, like on the anniversary of the event, it helps keep the incident fresh in people’s minds," Johnson said. "Cold cases go cold quickly and by putting the details in front of someone and offering a number that they can call with information, it can be a very effective tool in getting a lead that helps solve the case."
A tool that officers with the CPD have been the first in the area to use and have seen positive results with is the ‘Text-a-Tip’ program, which allows anyone to anonymously send a text message with details about a crime or who committed it to the department so it can be investigated. Detective Jason Cameron with the CPD shared the results of the first few months of use of the program with area agency officials, who are considering adopting this method as a way for people to contact the Crime Stopper network and give information without needing to be identified.
Currently, the Central Arkansas Crime Stoppers group includes 13 agencies from six counties.
(Candie Beck is a staff writer and can be reached at 505-1238 or at firstname.lastname@example.org)