BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For a dozen years, WAFB has worked with the Crime Stoppers program. It allows the community to really get involved with law enforcement.
The program has changed over the years, because law enforcement has changed. For instance, members from many of the law enforcement agencies in the area, sharing space at State Police Headquarters. They call it the Fusion Center, and it is immediate communication.
"It's great. It's a great concept. It works," says Crime Stoppers Coordinator Sergeant Don Stone. "The task force is right here. You hear that phone ringing? That's going to our call center. That's a tip coming in and if that's a tip that leads to an arrest of a fugitive, I can walk right across the hall and
tell those guys, roll, go get that guy."
Which is what happened when Livingston Parish deputies were looking for murder suspect Thomas Fefee in February.
"We received a call here that he was in a small town outside of Tampa, Florida. I utilized the state police fugitive apprehension task force. Which just happens to be right next door to me," said Sgt. Stone.
An arrest was made within hours.
But simply being next door to one another is not the biggest game changer for law enforcement and Crime Stoppers. That title goes to social media.
"The majority of it is social media. A victim of a crime will post their own photo on social media, before law enforcement will," says the sergeant.
And tips on helping identify possible suspects come flying in. Like the woman who allegedly robbed a Chase Bank in Baton Rouge in January. She was id'd and arrested.
Or the guy who walked into Sam's Club in Baton Rouge last month saying he a had a gun, and walked out with a big screen TV. He, too, was identified and arrested.
"You hear that phone ringing? That's because we have a community who cares. We have a program that they trust. It's all about that trust," said Stone.
100 percent anonymity. That is the guarantee and that is how this works so well. So keep calling (225) 344-7867, texting, emailing and posting. This is your community.