Crime Stoppers Grey Bruce needs funding to stay afloat

Section: 
News

 

By Barb McKay

 

Crime Stoppers Grey Bruce is appealing to municipalities across the two counties for funding to keep the organization going.

 

Peter Reid, vice-chair of the not-for-profit program, said the board has sent out letters to each of the 17 municipalities in Bruce and Grey requesting annual donation of $2,000 for five years to help it cover its expenses. A number of municipalities, including Kincardine, have declined the request for donations. Kincardine asked the board to instead submit an application for a community investment grant.

 

“We’ve had some funding difficulties over the past few years and our reserves are dwindling,” Reid told The Independent last Wednesday.

 

He said Crime Stoppers Grey Bruce has an annual budget of $90,000 to pay for wages for one administrative employee, office rent and utilities. Included in that budget are roughly $40,000 in expenses associated with its Nevada break open ticket lottery fundraisers for government fees and vendor costs.

 

The organization does not receive government funding and relies on fundraising and donations to operate. As well, most charity donations, such as grants through Community Foundation Grey Bruce, can be used for specific purchases but cannot be used to cover core costs.

 

Reid said the organization is run leanly by volunteers. It is a successful program – tips to Crime Stoppers Grey Bruce over its 31 years have resulted in drugs seized and recovered property valued at $52 million.

 

“It’s crazy that we have the (financial) issues,” he said.

 

Approximately $6,000 is paid out annually in rewards for tips that result in an arrest. About half the people who leave a tip request the reward.

 

“Half the people call because they don’t want to get involved or it’s a family member they are calling on,” Reid said. “They are doing it because it’s the right thing to do.”

 

He said the program in Grey Bruce has helped police services solve crimes.

 

“Quite often we hear back that the person they arrested wasn’t even on their radar.”

 

Reid said Crime Stoppers is a program that works. Recently, the branch in Kingston closed down due to a lack of funding and a difficulty in attracting volunteers.

 

“Almost immediately, police down there are trying to get another one started.”

 

Reid said without any additional funding, the Grey Bruce program can operate for another two years before it runs out of money. The board is currently reaching out into communities for private investments. Also, its annual golf tournament, which will be held June 1 at the Southampton Golf and Country Club, has consistently been a good fundraiser.

 

Crime Stoppers also accepts donations through Canada.org.

 

“Every little bit helps,” Reid said. “I hope we’ll be able to keep the program going.”

 

Along with fundraising, the organization is actively recruiting new board members. Anyone who is interested can call 519-371-6078 or email crimestopgb@bmts.com.