The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury commemorated Crime Stoppers Awareness Month on Wednesday afternoon with a small-flag raising ceremony in the downtown core.
Mayor Rob Keffer read the proclamation while York-Simcoe MP Scot Davidson, South Simcoe Police Chief Andrew Fletcher and Crime Stoppers volunteers Dave Cockburn and Derek Adhiya helped raise the flag in front of the Bradford Courthouse.
Crime Stoppers of Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka is a volunteer-run community crime prevention program that started in 1987 and encourages anyone with information about a crime to call in a tip anonymously – information that is then passed on to assist in police investigations.
With more people at home and spending time online, Chief Fletcher noted that throughout the pandemic, there has been an increase in tips being submitted to Crime Stoppers.
The organization relies entirely on donations and fundraising to cover the costs of its national toll-free tip line, anti-crime programs, and its rewards.
Crime Stoppers of Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka works with Barrie Police, OPP, Orangeville Police, Rama Police, Anishinabek Police Service, RCMP, Shelburne, and South Simcoe Police.
Cockburn thanked the mayor and South Simcoe Police on behalf of Crime Stoppers for the community's continuous support of the program.
"Being a non-profit, non-government organization, we rely heavily on public donations to keep our program going, and volunteers of course," said Cockburn.
The donations received cover the rewards for those who submit tips that lead to an arrest, recovery of stolen property or illicit drugs.
In 2005 Crime Stoppers International was recognized by the United Nations as a global force in the fight against crime and terrorism.
Tips can be called in to 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submitted online by clicking here, or on the new app. Callers never have to identify themselves or testify in court – and locally, will still be eligible for a cash reward.
-with files from Miriam King