Home Local News Richmond County Crime Stoppers honored by Chamber with ribbon-cutting

Richmond County Crime Stoppers honored by Chamber with ribbon-cutting

Richmond County Crime Stoppers Board President Chuck Cobb and Secretary Mechele Preslar, flanked by other board members and representatives from law enforcement and the community, cut a ribbon in front of the old courthouse during a recognition ceremony Sept. 10 by the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce. Photos by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Although the organization has been around for years, Richmond County Crime Stoppers was honored Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting in front of the old courthouse.

Kristi King, president and CEO of the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce, called Crime Stoppers “a great resource” for the county’s law enforcement agencies and “the county as a whole.”

While ribbon-cuttings are generally for welcoming new businesses to the community, King said Tuesday’s event was to raise awareness and give recognition for what Crime Stoppers does.

Rockingham Mayor John Hutchinson praised the public-private partnership the organization has with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockingham and Hamlet police departments.

Sheriff Mark Gulledge and chiefs George Gillenwater (RPD) and Dennis Brown (HPD) were on-hand for the event.

“Crime Stoppers exists for one reason,” said Chuck Cobb, president of the group’s volunteer board of directors. “Our mission … is to be an asset to our law enforcement agencies. And we can’t do that without their leadership, guidance, financial and overall support.”

Each department has a Crime Stoppers liaison who keeps the board up to date on tips, advises the board on which tips merit a cash reward and recommends the amount for the reward, Cobb said.

County Commissioner Jason Gainey said one of the nonprofit’s biggest advantages is anonymity for “those that are willing to participate and help stop crime in their community by may be afraid or don’t really want to get involved.”


Cobb also expressed the importance of tipsters remaining anonymous.

“A lot of people don’t want to get involved in court cases, they don’t want to be subpoenaed … and have to testify,” Cobb said.

“Richmond County Crime Stoppers supports local law enforcement efforts to prevent and solve crime,” said the sheriff. “They are our only source that provides the easiest and fastest way to report crime anonomously. The program encourages citizens to assist in the fight against crime by reportng tips … “In my opinion, this serves as a way of witness protection.”

Earlier this year, Gillenwater said that tips leading to arrests have quadrupled since the introduction of the P3 Tips app.

According to the national Crime Stoppers website, the organization boasts a 95% conviction rate average from cases involving tips.

Richmond County Crime Stoppers, which is funded through public and private donations, recently won an award for best innovative fundraiser at the state conference.

“There were some larger Crime Stopper affiliates that raised a lot more money, but we were considered the most innovative by the judges,” Cobb said.

Tips can be made by calling 910-997-5454 or by using the P3 Tips app.

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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.