The Crime Stoppers concept started in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1976. A teen was shot during a robbery, in a well-traveled, well-lit area of town on a busy Friday night. Weeks of investigation turned up no clues, and no one who saw the incident offered information or assistance.
Detectives decided that there were two reasons why no one offered assistance on this case. Either the public was afraid for their own physical safety from the culprits or they just did not care or want to get involved. To solve the problem of fear for their well being, they were offered anonymity, and to combat apathy they were offered cash rewards.
Police could not offer rewards for anonymous information, so they needed a community board that could raise the money and pay the rewards. The community stepped up to the plate in masses.
In order to spread a detailed account of the crime to the community as well as the anonymity and rewards, they needed the help of the media. Assistance was offered by the media and the first ever Crime Stoppers reenactment was done. It resulted in a case-solving tip the very next day on the teen’s case. Furthermore, it also solved 4-5 other violent crimes.
Word spread quickly regarding this incident and soon they were other U.S. programs. Crime Stoppers U.S.A. was formed. In 1982, Calgary, Canada (Followed closely by Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto) started a program thus in 1984 Crime Stoppers International was born