"Excuse me, free what?" you ask. After all very little in life is free, let alone money. While this is true, MTSU Crime Stoppers and Rutherford County Crime Stoppers are working very hard to make this a reality. The only thing we ask for in return is information about a crime, and that this information lead to an arrest. That's it. No testifying, no court appearances, and no revealing yourself unless you want to. After that, the information you provided, along with information about the crime and the arrest, is forwarded to the appropriate Board of Directors who decide on the amount of the reward to be issued to the tipster(s).
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
If you have any information about a crime committed on property owned by MTSU or a felony committed within Rutherford County, which is where MTSU’s main campus is located, all you have to do is call Crime Stoppers at 893-7867 (STOP) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Crime Stoppers does not use caller ID and does not record phone calls. What it does do, is assign each caller their own identification number instead of asking for the their name. This way the caller truly does remain anonymous.
The person answering the phone then asks a series of questions based on the type of crime and location it was or is being committed. Questions can include: the name of the suspect(s), their address, their race, gender, age, height, weight, hair color, phone number, the type of car they drive, and so on. Along with the time and date the crime was committed. It is important to note that not all of this information is required when you call, but the more information provided – the higher the probability of an arrest. Ergo, the higher the probability a cash reward will be issued.
WHAT TYPES OF CRIMES CAN I CALL ABOUT?
If the crime was committed or is being committed on property owned by MTSU, it does not matter if the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony. This is because MTSU Crime Stoppers was set up to specifically deal with misdemeanors and is a branch of Rutherford County Crime Stoppers. This in turn, enables MTSU Crime Stoppers to pay for information that leads to the arrest of those who have committed misdemeanors on property owned by MTSU. While Rutherford County Crime Stoppers pays for information about all felonies committed within Rutherford County that leads to an arrest including felonies committed on MTSU's main campus which is a unique arrangement considering most Crime Stoppers programs only deal with felonies. But the truth is misdemeanors are far more prevalent on college campuses than felonies and are the chronic problem campus police face day in and day out.
As for the crimes themselves, they do not have to be advertised in order for you to call. They just have to be a crime. Some crimes do not even have to have been reported to the police first – crimes such as selling fake drivers licenses or narcotics. They just have to be a crime.
Some crimes are, however, advertised and MTSU Crime Stoppers Sgt. Foster, along with Board of Directors Member Travis Smith, try their best to advertise the latest crimes committed on property owned by MTSU through the release of Crime Stoppers fliers . Rutherford County Crime Stoppers also regularly releases information about its latest and most serious crimes – which are usually reported in the local media, such as the Daily News Journal. Below you will find two very general definitions of a felony and a misdemeanor, along with an example. But should you have a specific question about what classification a certain type of crime is, please refer to the latest edition of the Tennessee Code Annotated – which is located in the new library on the campus of MTSU. Still, this does not guarantee the suspect will be arrested for committing that particular crime.
Misdemeanor Offenses are lower than felonies and generally punishable by fines, forfeiture, or imprisonment at a facility other than a penitentiary.
A Felony crime is of a graver or more serious nature than those designated as misdemeanors, so much so that the usual minimum penalty is one year imprisonment.
Example: Theft from buildings under $500 vs. Theft from buildings over $500. In this case, the dollar amount, $500, is what makes the difference. Meaning that thefts from buildings under $500 are misdemeanors, while thefts from buildings over $500 are felonies.
Last, but certainly not least, both Crime Stoppers organizations will advertise what they call "featured crimes" (police.mtsu.edu/crimestoppers/fc) from time to time. Crimes deemed serious enough or special enough to guarantee that a minimum amount of cash will be awarded to the tipster(s) whose information leads to an arrest.
JUST HOW MUCH MONEY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
For misdemeanors committed on property owned by MTSU, MTSU Crime Stoppers will pay up to $300 for information that leads to an arrest. For felonies committed within Rutherford County, which includes MTSU’s main campus, Rutherford County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Furthermore, you can call about multiple crimes which could mean multiple rewards, especially if they are separate crimes committed by different people.
MTSU CRIME STOPPERS & THE WEB
MTSU Crime Stoppers and Rutherford County Crime Stoppers have no intention of taking tips over the web. This is simply because there is less of a chance of the tipster remaining anonymous. For no matter what type of "security" software is used, e-mails and web tips are still traceable. This is why all tips are taken via the phone at 893-7867 (STOP) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. MTSU Crime Stoppers will, however, try to answer any questions you may have and, if you are so inclined, will post your question and our answer on this web page.
JOINING MTSU CRIME STOPPERS’ BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MTSU Crime Stoppers is currently looking for people interested in joining its Board of Directors, especially students (both graduate and undergraduate). If you are a full time student or MTSU employee interested in helping to make this campus a better place to live and work, please think about applying. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 a.m. and last no more than one hour. Applications can be picked up at the campus Police Department and the Residential Life Office (KUC 303), or printed from this web page. Once filled out, they can either be turned back in at the MTSU Police Department care of Sgt. Foster or mailed to:
David Gray, Chairman
MTSU Crime Stoppers
P.O. Box 684
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
If mailing from campus, you may use campus mail.
If you have any questions concerning the MTSU Crime Stoppers program, please call Sgt. Foster at (615)898-2424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions about the Rutherford County Crime Stoppers program, please contact Lt. Clyde Adkison at the Murfreesboro Police Department at (615) 895-3874.
All of the photos on the MTSU Crime Stoppers web pages are copyrighted to Travis Smith and are not to be published, reproduced, or utilized in any way that violates copyright law.