"Aransas County Crime Stoppers Incorporates New Technology" | by Joe Riekers

Since Hurricane Harvey, crime has risen in Aransas County. Several factors, including unoccupied properties, transient workers, new visitors, and the general vulnerability of some segments of our population account for the increase in some crime categories, such as property theft and vandalism. Aransas County Crime Stoppers recognized the necessity to engage the community to reduce and solve crimes within Aransas County and implemented a new program.

In September 2018, as part of their plan to reduce crime, the Board of Directors approved an electronic tips program, known as P3 Tips. The system is now available to Rockport, Fulton and anywhere else in Aransas County, online at www.P3tips.com and through the free P3Tips App for your phone. Accessing the system through the site or app prompts the user to select a country, state, and city or county. The system automatically assigns a unique number to the person providing the tip, so they can follow-up and/or collect any reward offered by Crime Stoppers. This system automatically notifies the proper authorities, while insuring absolute anonymity for the tipster. P3 will also provide instructions on how to anonymously pick up cash at a bank, if one is available.

Another important feature of the Aransas County Crime Stoppers P3 tips system is the ability the ability to help keep Aransas County Independent School District staff and students safe. The system’s “Campus” feature allows reporting school related issues, such as bullying, misconduct, threats, vandalism, truancy, and other areas of concern to students and staff. Tips that are entered in the “Campus” feature are automatically, and anonymously routed, to the School Resource Officer. Tips that are substantiated can be rewarded through the same anonymous system. A major difference between the “Community” and the “Campus” features is that the “Campus” feature allows for reporting things that are not necessarily illegal but are of concern to school safety in general.

In other action, Aransas County Crime Stoppers re-structured its Board of Directors to include two retired law enforcement officers and three additional civilians with extensive experience in public service and organizational management. Additionally, two members attended an extensive training program hosted by the Office of the Governor, Office of Crime Prevention held in Grand Prairie, TX. These two members received state certification as Crime Stopper liaisons. Aransas County Crime Stoppers is seeking supporters for advertising, as well as donations to fund payment of tip rewards. Anyone interested in joining Aransas County Crime Stoppers can contact Jim at (361) 727-0022. Persons wishing to report a crime or information related to a potential crime can also continue to call the anonymous phone number (361) 729-TIPS.

Established in 2000, Aransas County Crime Stoppers is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation endorsed by the Office of the Governor to receive anonymous tips for law enforcement. Since its establishment, numerous crimes have been solved based on information received through the anonymous tips.

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