CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Despite all the good work CrimeStoppers does, this mostly volunteer group is on the verge of shutting down due to a lack of money coming in.
CrimeStoppers is in a struggle to stay afloat. Like everything else in this economy, it is suffering. The one full-time officer devoted to the cause, has been reduced to part-time. Everyone else volunteers. They keep going though, because it works.
"So, we'll do anything," said Gene Ferrara. "We're almost down to bake sales!"
Ferrara is police chief for UC Police and also President of CrimeStoppers for greater Cincinnati.
"Which includes Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana," he said.
Ferrara is shamelessly asking for cash, to cover a huge area. He works the phones but unless someone steps up soon, the future of CrimeStoppers is in jeopardy.
"It's an easy number, 352-3040," echoed Ferrara. There is a reward for tips that lead to an arrest but even that has fallen victim to the economy.
"And we're giving our rewards for felonies," Ferrara said. "But we've really dropped back on the misdemeanors and the problem with that is, sometimes the misdemeanors are what lead to the other arrests."
So, with fewer rewards are people calling less?
"Yes," Ferrara said. "There's no question, I mean, we're getting fewer calls."
"The biggest misconception is that somehow, there's some governmental agency that funds this operation because it has to do with catching criminals people assume that some police agency, some government, city, county, state put this money in and that's not true," he said.
CrimeStoppers operates 100-percent on donations.
Biggest misconception Number Two?
"People don't realize how effective CrimeStoppers is," Ferrara said.
Since it began in 1980, half the homicides have been solved with a conviction rate well over 90-percent.
Third misconception? My call won't really be anonymous.
"We don't know who you are," Ferrara said. "We're not going to try to find out who you are."
What they do hope to find are more supporters.
"We'll take a check from anyone," Ferrara said. "We'll take a jar full of pennies, I mean, whatever we can get, we'll put it to good use."
In August alone, 40 cases got solved and for the year, 369 cases. If you'd like to help out, you can just write them a check or crank open that jar of pennies as Chief Ferrara suggested. Either go to their website by clicking here or Send to:
Cincinnati Police Department, Attention: CrimesStoppers, 824 Broadway, Cincinnati, OH 45202