News: Jacksonville Onslow County Crime Stoppers welcome guest from England
Story by Lance Cpl. Nikki Phongsisattanak
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Members of the Crime Stoppers organization were visited by a special guest who leads the front lines in preventing and halting crime in her hometown of Sussex, England.
Carolyn Randall, the area manager with Sussex, England, Crime Stoppers, held a presentation during the organization’s board meeting hosted at Jacksonville City Hall Sept. 20.
Randall discussed England’s Crime Stoppers method of catching their crooks and offered helpful tips to Jacksonville’s program.
“We go out to try and help law enforcement catch the criminal after the act,” said retired Marine Col. Joe Yannessa, the chairman of the Jacksonville Onslow County Crime Stoppers. “It seems like (England’s Crime Stoppers) are more set up to prevent crimes from happening, and it is a significant difference. Their money is collected to advertise, while our money is collected for both advertising and rewarding for information. Those are the biggest differences between our programs. I’m really interested in how they raise money, because they have good ways of doing it.”
Randall offered ideas on fundraising events and organization sponsorship. Increased revenue would significantly lend a hand to how Jacksonville Onslow County Crime Stoppers conducts its program.
“We were surprised by the success of the program the last 12 years,” said Yannessa. “There was a direct correlation to the increased tips when we increased the tip reward. There’s such a high amount of tips coming, it makes paying off tips challenging.”
This program proved its success. Since the Jacksonville Onslow County Crime Stoppers’ establishment in 2000, the program received more than 2,800 tips resulting in approximately 375 arrests or apprehensions, according to statistics recorded by the program. The city’s Crime Stoppers program was selected twice as Board Program of the Year from among North Carolina’s 85 active programs.
Randall’s presentation provided food for thought, and her ideas may help Jacksonville Onslow County Crime Stoppers progress.
Randall made the trip to the crystal coast to visit her daughter, Katherine Brooks, and attend the homecoming of her son-in-law, Gunnery Sgt. Brandon Brooks, a company gunnery sergeant with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. Although she was away from her work in England, her mission to impact and help others continues.
“It’s great having my mother here,” said Mrs. Brooks. “I’m proud of the work she does, and it’s great see her helping the (Crime Stoppers) program here while she is visiting us.”
On Randall’s previous trip, she introduced herself to the board members of the Jacksonville Onslow County Crime Stoppers during a Crime Stoppers barbecue and asked for their aid in researching ways to prevent domestic violence. She was able to return the favor by speaking at the recent board meeting.
“I was happy to be a part of their meeting,” said Randall. “I would love to have a group this active to meet with me once a month, but I can’t because my volunteers are dotted all around. The fact (Jacksonville’s) smaller and more contained means (the members) have more of an opportunity to promote Crime Stoppers.”
Randall’s passion for protecting the community and apprehending criminals reveals her concern for others and their safety.
To report a crime or offer a tip to call the 24-hour hotline at 938-3272. Callers can give their names or remain anonymous.