Law enforcement launches “Capitol Region Crime Stoppers” program
After Jackie Porreca was stabbed to death in 2015, it took months for police to track down the suspect, Michael Chmielewski. He later pleaded guilty to the stabbing.
"If we would have had something like this out there we might have heard sooner, we would have gotten the tip a lot sooner than four months," says Porreca’s sister Janeah Rosecrans.
Porreca’s family says those months of waiting for an arrest was one of the hardest parts of Jackie's death.
"The fear that people are out there people, nobody's saying anything, and the fact that it was half a block from our home," says Mickey Myers, Porreca’s Fiancé.
The new “Capitol Region Crime Stoppers” program, first brought to the table by Albany police. It looks to solve crimes quicker through tips. It’s a new non-profit with anonymous tip lines for anyone in the Capitol Region. They're hoping this program gives people a safer way to submit a tip to law enforcement, and tipsters would only be identified by a number in the system.
"People often want to come forward with information but they don't know how to come forward with information," says officer Steve Smith of the Albany Police Department.
There are three ways to submit a tip. By phone, online or through an app. Smith says people often don't come forward with information out of fear.
"When we went to a scene, people weren't going to talk to the police out of fear and we want to eliminate that fear," Smith says.
Local donations and the SEFCU Credit Union will fund the program, Albany police will keep track of the information through newly-acquired tip management software.
Cash rewards can be as high as 1,500 dollars. You only get that reward if your tip leads to an arrest.
Here are the three ways to send a tip.
- 1. Call Capitol Region Crime Stoppers at 1-833-ALB-TIPS
- 2. Go to http://www.capitalregioncrimestoppers.com/sitemenu.aspx?ID=990&
- 3. Download the free “P3 Tips” app on your smart phone or tablet.