VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Friday, the Virginia Beach Crime Solvers awarded several police officers for solving crimes with tips from the crime line. 13News Now's very own Dan Kennedy emceed the award luncheon
You’ve heard the media ask you to call 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or submit a tip through the P3 app hundreds of times when a crime is reported.
Last year, almost 900 of you did, just in Virginia Beach.
"It’s invaluable," said Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate.
Even with all of the new technology helping officers in Virginia Beach, it’s hard to replace eyewitnesses to a crime.
Neudigate said he knows how difficult it can be to come forward with information.
"We do understand the concerns. We understand some of the challenges that are out there about coming forward," he said.
However, those concerns didn’t stop 886 people from submitting tips over the phone or online.
Through the Virginia Beach Crime Solvers, tips led police to clear 183 cases and arrest 75 people. They also recovered more than $62,000 worth of stolen property and seized $97,000 worth of drugs and 23 firearms.
"We could not have the level of success, the level of closure that we bring without crime solvers. It is that partnership that… police can’t do it alone. We need the community. We need our external partners to have crime solvers to be there for us to encourage the community to come forward sometimes when they may be a little leery to do so. They’re an invaluable resource and we appreciate them," the chief said.
On Friday, the department honored two teams of officers who were able to solve crimes using those tips.
Over the summer, a team of detectives and officers were able to arrest multiple suspects who were stealing from cars and slashing tires.
Another team of officers arrested a suspect after a fatal hit-and-run.
"What it’s about is bringing closure to our community and acknowledging those officers that go above and beyond to make sure that closure comes to those that need it so much," Neudigate said.
If you do have information about a crime, you can remain anonymous. Calls to the crime solvers are not traced or recorded. It’s all done through a code-number system. You could also get up to $1,000 if your tip leads to an arrest or recovery of stolen property.
"But this provides you a venue. An opportunity to remain anonymous, to receive compensation. If you have information that can help us solve one of these crimes, particularly one of our violent crimes, I implore you, please come forward," Neudigate said.
Since Virginia Beach Crime Solvers was established 41 years ago, they’ve awarded and recovered more than $1.34 million in cash, vehicles, weapons and drugs.
The non-profit is funded entirely through public donations.