Crime Stoppers captures regional awards

May. 08, 2013 @ 05:45 PM

Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers Association celebrated two regional awards from the Southeastern Crime Stoppers Conference during a luncheon Wednesday.

The local association received recognition for efforts and successes in media communications and in fundraising made during the 2012 calendar year.

The media award recognized specifically the Crime Stoppers programs aired on local radio station WIZS-1450 AM to publicize ongoing and breaking investigations in Henderson and Vance County.

The fundraising award focused on the Crime Stoppers golf tournament event, now organizing for it’s third annual competition May 16. The event has resulted in the association’s reserve fund for paying crime informants growing to more than $37,000.

John Charles Rose, majority owner of the radio station, said being recognized for the media award was an honor due to others who did the work: Henderson Police Lt. Irvin Robinson and Rev. Frank Sossaman with Crime Stoppers and radio station managers George Rush and Larry Worley.

“They are the ones doing the work, and I’m just standing here smiling,” Rose said. “You have our airways to use for Crime Stoppers anytime you want it. I appreciate you applying, and considering the competition. I am blown away that they chose us.”

The southeast association includes about 100 North Carolina Crime Stoppers groups, plus groups in six other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Sossaman said the importance of good fundraising can be seen in its direct application to the solving of major cases such as murder.

“We have been on a shoestring budget in the past,” Sossaman said. “We have had times when information came in, and we were at the bank borrowing money. We have a lot of unsolved murders in Vance County, and now we have some savings ready for information about those crimes.”

Sossaman said he believes the golf event will clear $10,000 raised through sponsorships and up to $1,600 raised on the day of the event. There are 52 sponsors so far, and a slate of 20 teams is filling up fast, now with 16 signed up.

Tournament organizers reported some regulars from the first two years are not signed up yet, and they could find there’s no room if they don’t call in.

“With just a little more effort, we can exceed what we’ve done the previous two years this third year,” Sossaman said.

Robinson, the local association coordinator, reported the conference last week was a great opportunity for information sharing and networking.

“We got a lot of information from many organizations that do things differently than we do,” Robinson said. “It was a good learning experience.”

Robinson set the awards program as a goal-setting challenge to spur on better efforts by Crime Stoppers leaders, volunteers and supporters. He has been leading the way in award applications over his more than 10 years of leadership.

Sossaman, the local association president, said it is an achievement to gain the recognition in two of five categories given the hundreds of Crime Stoppers associations in the southeastern region.

“This is the fourth time we’ve received the productivity award,” Robinson said. “We received it in 2007, 2008 and 2009, but the competition walked away with it last year.”

The Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers Association started in 1985.


Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.