Just who are the Crimestoppers?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – You hear the name mentioned almost daily on the news, but just who are the Crimestoppers?

Simply put, Crimestoppers is a non-profit that raises money to hand out in exchange for tips that solve crimes. They just upped their award amounts, now starting at $500 and potentially reaching $3,000, depending on the crime and information provided. The tip has to lead to an actual arrest.

Everything is anonymous and the rewards are paid in cash. People who call or text are assigned a number to maintain confidentiality. "We’ve beem around since 1983 and we have never, ever disclosed anybody’s identify," explains Crimestoppers Chair, Paul Hawkins.

Crimestoppers gets about 4,000 tips per year. It provides those tips to a detective with the Rochester Police Department who is then tasked with assigning them to investigators or members of the task forces.

Police agencies, in some cases, actually ask Crimestoppers to increase the amount of the reward for certain fugitives. “Because of the gun violence (in Rochester) we’ve been asked to focus on the people that are dealing guns, carrying guns and using guns…So, the three people that you see on our website this week are some real bad actors so, we’re ready to pay big-time,” says Hawkins.