Crimestoppers to Possibly Move Into City and County Schools

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Whenever news four reports about an unsolved crime, we usually ask anyone who has information about that crime to call Crimestoppers. Now Dothan Police are trying to get students to help them fight crime.

"I think in today's society, in light of what's going on around the country, kids are more comfortable reporting people' it's their safety and their school," said Sgt. Stacy Robinson, of the Dothan Police Department.

If Sgt. Robinson is right, then a school crimestoppers program may prove to be successful in Dothan and Houston County. If approved, the way it would work is that a student would call the crimestoppers number, (334) 793-7000, and then say he or she is a student caller with a tip about a crime. And we're not talking about reporting someone who cheated on a test.

"What we want to do is get as many drugs out of our schools as we can, and in light of what happened at Virginia Tech, we want to make sure we get all the guns and weapons that are being brought to school," said Cpl. Rony Anderson, of the Dothan Police Department.

"Last year we had problems with kids starting fires at Dothan High School. This can be a great tool for us as an investigative unit, to be able to solve crimes like that," said Lt. David Jay.

Police say in the past students have stayed away from reporting crimes, fearing retribution. But through the school crimestoppers program, students can remain anonymous.

"Once that call comes in, a number is assigned to that student, they give their information, and that's all the contact we have," said Lt. Jay.

If the tip is big enough a student could be eligible for up to a 100 dollar reward. Both Superintendent Sam Nichols of Dothan City Schools and Superintendent Tim Pitchford of Houston County Schools have received a report detailing how the program would work. And they say they plan to have their respective boards study the program before making any kind of decision. If the program is approved it will go into affect for the 2007 - 2008 school year.

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