My intent in phoning in the tip about a fatal hit-and-run accident was to aid in the apprehension of those responsible. That remains the most important element of this entire debacle (“Hit-and-run tipster likely won’t get paid,” Feb. 17 Eagle).
When I first called to inform Crime Stoppers that I had identified myself to the policemen and that I did not have my secret tip number, a gentleman told me that he knew exactly who I was and he wanted me to not use my name, as he was already aware of my identity. That was pretty much the same line that Crime Stoppers executive director Gordon Bassham took with me initially. Once he moved past the hurdle of my disclosing who I was to the police, he then said the issue was that I did not have my secret tip number. But he knew that from the very beginning, because I had already told him that. And why did he repeatedly tell the news media that the tipster would receive the reward when he already knew that I did not have that number?
When you first make your call to the tipline, they do give you a number, but nothing was said to me about the need to keep it for future reference. They also made it seem as if the question of remaining anonymous was up to the caller, not a requirement to receive your reward.
The so-called protocol that prohibits (supposedly) Crime Stoppers from awarding the reward is self-imposed. Crime Stoppers could choose to circumvent it.
All the police officers I talked to know that I am exactly who I say I am. Who else has come forward with the information that I have? Who else lived at the house where the car in question was found? Who else knows the day the car arrived and the number of people involved, not to mention the day the tip was phoned in? No one but me.
I believe that the initial intent and purpose of Crime Stoppers was good and noble. But it is very sad that doing the right thing has been trumped by so-called protocol.
DWIGHT ASHLEY BRADFORD