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Crime tips program seeks more publicity

Source: Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune
By Karen Madden
Date: October 04, 2003

Cyber Crime Wood County Crime Stoppers officials are hoping a conference in Wisconsin Rapids next week will increase awareness of the program.

"We still have people around here that do not know Crime Stoppers exist," said Deputy Bev Ghiloni, Wood County Sheriff's Department. "We've been up and running since 1999."

During the first seven months this year, Wood County Crime Stoppers paid $950 for tips leading to 17 arrests. In 2002, the program paid $2,275 for tips leading to 18 arrests. Payouts range from $25 or $50 for drug incidents to $1,000 for a tip on an attempted murder.

Crime Stoppers money comes from donations and fund-raisers. Many times, people helped by tips will donate to the fund, said Lance Pliml, a member of the Wood County Crime Stoppers Board. Currently, the fund is at about $2,500, which is low, Pliml said.

"It really is an anonymous tip," Pliml said. "When the call comes in, it is a totally private and anonymous line."

The 13th annual State Crime Stoppers Training Conference is being held at the Hotel Mead on Oct. 10 and 11. Presentations include a Friday session on "Rave and Dance Party Drugs" and a Saturday session on "Dark Side of the Internet: Sexual Predators of Children."

The conference is designed as a training session for members of Crime Stoppers programs, but interested residents difficult to work short-staffed."

There are qualified people in the department to fill the assistant fire chief and lieutenant's positions, Waite said. However, those positions have to be filled, and it will take time to get four new people in and trained.

"We're losing a lot of training and experience," he said. "We'll be a younger and less-experienced department."

Janssen doesn't believe having four new firefighters will be a big problem. The department, on a whole, has a lot of experience, he said.

"It's just a matter of training," Janssen said. "The biggest issue is what happens to the level of service if they don't replace them. It's going to create a lot more work-load for those who are there."

Chief Robert Drake is attending training out of town and was unavailable for comment.

Original article

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