$12K came from governor's Crime Justice Division

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Jim Wells County Correspondent

Crime Stoppers of South Texas, Inc. received a grant for more than $12,000 that can help curb crime throughout Jim Wells, Brooks and Duval counties including the cities of Premont, Alice, Orange Grove and Ben Bolt.

"It's a re-infusion of our annual grant, which is greatly needed," said David Flores, Crime Stoppers of South Texas, Inc. president. "Crime Stoppers of South Texas has had a banner year in regards to solving crime in three counties."

Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday the awards of more than $576,000 in grants to 56 Crime Stoppers programs across Texas. These grants are awarded under the state Crime Stoppers Assistance Fund and are distributed by the Governor's Criminal Justice Division (CJD).

"Criminal deterrant and combattant programs are important to ensuring Texans have safe communities to live, work and raise a family," said Gov. Perry in a written statement. "By strengthening the communications capacity between citizens and law enforement, Crime Stoppers helps raise public awareness, reduce crime and increase safety for all Texans."

Flores said the local Crime Stoppers has assisted law enforcement agencies recover more than $750,000 in property this year.

"This money from the governor's office will go towards having better results next year," Flores said.

Crime Stoppers programs focus on reducing crime by operating local hotlines that receive and forward information about criminal activities and fugitives from members of the public to appropriate law enforcement agencies. Informants are guaranteed anonymity and receive cash rewards when tips lead to an arrest.

Grants distributed by CJD to state-certified Crime Stoppers programs support information systems such as 24-hour tip hotlines, technology upgrades, and participation in the Annual Crime Stoppers Campus Conference.

Each year, CJD awards more than $113 million in grants for a variety of juvenile justice, criminal justice and victim services programs.

Anyone with information about any crime can contact Crime Stoppers of South Texas, Inc. hotline at 664-STOP or log in at www.stxtipscom and fill out tip information by Internet.

Tipsters may be eligible for cash rewards up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and or indictment of the suspect or suspects.

All calls remain anonymous.