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Crime Solvers wants to merge with small watchdog groups

August 09, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Crime Solvers is hoping to add new eyes and ears to those already on the alert for crime in Washington County.

Ron Stansbury, current president of Crime Solvers Inc., is reaching out to individual neighborhood watch groups throughout the county to join with Crime Solvers to combat the common enemy - crime.

"We're offering them an opportunity to join us to form a larger, stronger organization committed to crime prevention," Stansbury said.

After all, he said, no matter where crimes are committed, they affect all of the county.

"This would be a great arm for the police, who can't be everywhere," Stansbury said.

Another big plus for such a union between Crime Solvers and the smaller groups would be their ability to benefit from the larger group's tax exemptions, both federal and state, Stansbury said.

"Our main thrust has been rewards for the past 20 years," Stansbury said. "The hope is to blend that with the work of the crime watch groups in all of the county."

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Some within the Crime Solvers organization hope the increased strength from the union could revive some defunct programs such as Citizens on Patrol, an idea that died from lack of support.

At a recent Crime Solvers meeting, Stansbury suggested that the first step should be to form a committee to come up with a structure for the union.

He also expressed hope that any other crime watch groups not already contacted to get in touch with him to see if they are interested in joining forces.

Randy Rourke, crime prevention officer at Hagerstown City Police, said there is already a Neighborhood Watch council representing some of those groups, made up of three representatives from each.

Stansbury can be reached at 301-739-2676.

Currently, if anyone knows the person or persons responsible for a crime, Crime Solvers allows them to call anonymously.

Callers need not give their names, only the information. If the information leads to the arrest and indictment of the persons responsible for the Crime of the Week, a reward of up to $1,000 will be paid.

Cash rewards of between $100 and $1,000 are also given for information leading to arrests on other crimes.

Crime Solvers at 1-301-733-4141. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day.

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