Nashville Crime Stoppers: How it works

(Courtesy: Nashville Crime Stoppers)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville Crime Stoppers distributes thousands of dollars in reward money every year. The organization is a non-profit and serves as an intermediary between the public and police.

Members of the public who may have information about a crime in Nashville can call 615-74-CRIME. The calls are routed to a call center operated by Alternative Answers, the company which answers Crime Stoppers hotlines from all across the United States and Canada.

To maintain the anonymity of the tipster, the caller is not asked for a name or any other identifying information.  Instead, the tipster is assigned a random number.

Liz Parrott, Chair of the Nashville Crime Stoppers board explained how the process works:   “[Crime Stoppers doesn’t] trace phone numbers.  They don’t do anything.  So, there’s no way to know, except for that number. And so that number is assigned to that tip,” she said. The calls from tipsters are not recorded either, according to Parrott.  She says that Crime Stoppers is not able to call the tipster back even if they wanted to.

Crime Stoppers then relays the information from the tipster to a police liaison, who passes on the information to the appropriate Metro Police precinct and detective.

If the information leads to an arrest, the Nashville Crime Stoppers board meets to determine how much money will be paid to the tipster.

Parrott says, “We then look at the crime, what the arrest was for, and so forth, and then place a monetary value, up to $1,000 on it.”

Because Crime Stoppers does not keep contact information from tipsters, it is the tipster’s responsibility to call back and inquire about the reward.

“Since it’s all anonymous, they just call back in and check periodically, or if they see an arrest was made,” said Parrott.

When Crime Stoppers is ready to distribute reward money, Parrott says they set up a meeting, which can be almost anywhere. There’s an envelope with the tipster’s number on it. The tipster T  “[Crime Stoppers] sets up a meeting place, so it may be, ‘Meet us at Centennial Park at the Parthenon at this time,’ and then, there’s an envelope with [the tipster’s] number on it.  The tipster has to confirm the correct ID number to get the reward money, which is always given in cash.

Parrott spoke about the importance of Crime Stoppers in helping police officers solve crimes. “You now have the whole citizenship of Nashville there looking out, and so that just broadens law enforcement’s capability to see everything,” she said.

Nashville Crime Stoppers has helped solve 11,130 cases and paid $566,700 in rewards. It is a non-profit organization, comprised of volunteers from the local business community, and relies on corporate support and public donations. Click here to make a tax deductible donation securely on PayPal.

You can also send a money order or check as a tax deductible gift to: Nashville Crime Stoppers, Inc., Post Office Box 24185, Nashville, TN  37202-4185.