1-800-SPEAK UP new crime tip line in Genesee County - WNEM TV 5

1-800-SPEAK UP new crime tip line in Genesee County

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Victims of crime often feel tormented by the thought that somebody knows something but is scared to speak up.

"Sometimes, that's all it takes, is that one tip," said Chief James Tolbert of the Flint Police Department.

Julie Lopez knows that torment all too well.  In 2011, her father-in-law Pablo Lopez was murdered.  The killer is still on the loose, and tips to police are few and far between.

"I've learned people are afraid to call in a tip, and 1-800-SPEAK UP is 100 percent anonymous," said Lopez.

Lopez is now leading the charge in getting people to come forward.  She is the new director of the Genesee County branch of Crime Stoppers of Michigan.

"My hope is that we, we working with law enforcement agencies, can make a serious dent in the terms of the crime that's here," said John Broad, President of Crime Stoppers of Michigan.

Crime Stoppers of Michigan has replaced Flint Area Crime Stoppers.  The organization migrated north from the Detroit area where it serves as the tip line.  1-800-SPEAK UP is the new number to call.  This organization has bigger rewards and more resources.

Billboards and door hangers near the scene of a crime will promote the anonymous tip line, and people can earn up to $2,500 if their tip leads to a homicide conviction.

"We'll never know who it comes from because they're just a tip number," said Broad.

"No matter how small or how big, all crimes, and they will be followed up on," said Tolbert.

There's work to be done in Flint.  Julie Lopez said she hopes this new Crime Stoppers will be the start of more families finding closure.

"This is what we stand for, and we cannot lose that. That's why our tipsters have to know this is anonymous," said Lopez.

Last year, Crime Stoppers of Michigan handed out more than $90,000 to people who turned in tips that led to convictions.  For more information on the organization, visit their website by CLICKING HERE.

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