IN RECOGNITION OF THE 2005 ST. CHARLES CRIME STOPPERS -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 27, 2006)
* Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of the 2005 St. Charles Crime Stoppers award winners. For those of you not familiar with the program, Crime Stoppers began 30 years ago in the state of New Mexico as a community partnership to help combat crime. This community partnership consists of the local authorities, the press and area residents. Since its inception, Crime Stoppers has expanded to all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, as well as worldwide with programs in Canada, Europe, Australia, parts of Southeast Asia and other locales. In total, there are 1,200 programs worldwide.
* Oftentimes, when a crime is committed, there is generally a witness who has either seen firsthand the act take place or has knowledge that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrator. Whether it is a mugging, a drug deal or an auto theft, someone in the local community has information. The obstacle local law enforcement face is that many of these tipsters are reluctant to come forward for fear of retaliation by these criminals or for other personal reasons.
* The solution is Crime Stoppers, which provides witnesses with a safe and anonymous way to relay tips, and therefore avoid having to go on the record and fear reprisals. While Crime Stoppers tips generally do not provide police with the evidence needed to make an arrest, the information does provide police with leads that have ultimately led to a countless number of arrests and prosecutions. Rewards also help reluctant tipsters to come forward with information.
* I would like to take a moment to highlight the 13 2005 St. Charles award winners. Michael Shipley was honored as the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. For 14 years, Mike has dutifully served the local community both as an officer with the St. Charles Police Department but also as a mentor and coach to the local youth. He may be best known for his role as head trainer at St. Charles Boxing where he helps kids learn the ``sweet science'' but most importantly stay out of trouble.
* Kimberly Huffman was honored as the Crime Stoppers Civilian Employee of the Year. After completing the police academy and beginning her work as a police officer, Kim was devastated to learn that she had been diagnosed with a medical condition that would preclude her from fulfilling her day-to-day duties. As a result, Kim resigned as an officerand began to work as a communications specialist with the department, where she excelled. Recently, Kim was ecstatic to learn that her condition had been misdiagnosed and will be able to again pursue her dream of becoming a police officer.
* The Neighborhood Block Captains Award was presented to Randy and Jan Joeckel for their work in their neighborhood, Hanover Manor. The Joeckel's have diligently worked to maintain a safe and crime free neighborhood by organizing neighborhood watches and community meetings to help keep tabs of developing problems.
* Jim Trenary Chevrolet was the recipient of the 2005 Crime Stoppers Business of the Year Award. Jim Trenary employees have been extremely active in the local community with various fundraising efforts to help out good causes. Jim Trenary Chevrolet has also been an invaluable tool to the St. Charles Police Department by providing cars to be used for surveillance and sting operations.
* The 2005 Crime Stoppers Special Recognition Award was presented to Thomas Benton. After retiring from 20 years of service to the St. Charles Police Department, Thomas became the director of security for a local casino. Never one to forget his law enforcement skills, Thomas was able to help local authorities identify two suspects from two different bank robberies using casino surveillance tapes and testimony from casino employees.
* St. Charles Suburban Journal reporter Jason Lee received the Crime Stoppers Media Relations Award. Jason's reporting on area crime was detailed and thorough and he helped create awareness for the program by including Crime Stoppers information in his articles. Jason also proved to be an asset to the St. Charles Police Department, as he helped out with leads on certain cases.
* The 2005 Citizen Award was presented to Renee & Derrick Rivers, Colleen Clifford, John Hanley, Susan & Andy Quinones, Ann Walton, Ann Grice and Stacey Nelson. All of the Citizen Award recipients were actively involved in helping apprehending suspects and thwarting future crimes. And in one particular case, an infant's life was saved by arresting a mother for child abuse and endangerment.
* I commend all these recipients and hope my colleagues share in my admiration for the Crime Stoppers. I encourage all Americans to learn more about this wonderful partnership.