DETROIT (WWJ) –  Crime Stoppers is on a mission to convince Metro Detroiters that they can make a difference.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday in Southwest Detroit , Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Dennis Richardson said while they’re hoping for greater cooperation from the community when it comes to reporting crime, he understands why some shy away from speaking out.

“A lot of people, for whatever reason, are afraid of retaliation or afraid that someone’s gonna come after them if they cooperate with the police,” said Richardson. “This is a magnificent opportunity for citizens to come forward to speak anonymously and then the tip is relayed to law enforcement.”

The Southwest Detroit Business Association Wednesday announced it would join forces with Crime Stoppers in trying to get more members of the community to take advantage of the hotline.

Crime Stoppers of Michigan President John Broad talked about how tipsters have helped to solve murders in the past.

“A young man that was a football player at Wayne State University that was murdered, a tip solved that homicide,” said Broad. “The kids that were shot at the bus stop near Cody High School, we helped to solve that.”

Broad stressed that tips to 1-800 SPEAKUP are completely anonymous.

“There’s no caller ID. There’s no way to trace a call,” said Broad. “Your calls actually are received outside of Toronto, Canada. It’s in a different country. There are laws against anybody trying to discover what information was even given, let alone the identity.”

On a somewhat surprising note. Broad said only one in three tipsters who are eligible for a reward actually claims the money.

Rewards for tips that lead to an arrest start at $1,000. Those with information about a crime in metro Detroit are urged to call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-800-SPEAK UP. You can also text your tip to CRIMES (274637).

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