Crime Stoppers raises flag for awareness month

The Crime Stoppers flag is flying at the Mount Forest Museum and Archives.

Members of Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington (CSGW) raised the flag on Jan. 8 to mark January as Crime Stoppers Awareness Month.

CSGW program coordinator Sarah Bowers-Peter, CSGW board chair Ray Tout, councillors Sherry Burke and Lisa Hern, as well as Fire Chief Dave Guilbault and Wellington County OPP Inspector Scott Lawson were present at the flag raising.

“It’s a wonderful program that we honestly can’t do without in our community,” said Lawson. “I think the amount of (awards) that we’ve given out and the number of tips we get in is really an indication to the support we have in the community for the program.”

Tout said CSGW has given out $155,000 in award money in the county.

“It’s important that people don’t stay quiet, it’s important that they do come forward,” he added.

Since its inception in 1988, CSGW has received more than 18,000 calls, resulting in more than 1,500 arrests and in excess of $37 million recovered in stolen personal property and illegal drugs.

This is the second year CSGW has raised its flag in the community, and Bowers-Peter said it has made a difference.

“It’s been about a year since we really made an impact up here as far as awareness and increasing our profile in Wellington North Township. I think it’s really paid off,” she said.

CSGW is now offering to the public its decal program, in partnership with the fire department. Members of the public, as well as business owners, can purchase decals from CSGW for $15 (8-by-10 inches) or $5 (four-by-six inches).

Guilbault praised the decal program at the event.

“I’m really proud. We are the only fire service in the province of Ontario that has fire trucks with the crime stoppers decals on them… the more people who know about this and watch for crime and then we can put these people where they should be,” he said.