John Broad of Crime Stoppers is our Person Of The Week
Twice a week he stands at the side of a family in pain. They are the mothers, sisters and loved ones of the victims of crime. Much too often the crime is murder and the family is hoping someone — anyone — will help catch the criminal.
“It’s what we do,” explains John Broad, president of Crime Stoppers of Michigan and our Person of the Week. “We provide a secret way that people can give information that can solve a crime.”
The effort has been successful. Tips went from about 4000 in 2010 to nearly 6000 last year. Tips lead to rewards and arrests.
Broad says last year 323 crimes were solved based on tips to Crime Stoppers.
Tips can be phoned into 1 800-SPEAK UP. An operator in Toronto will answer the phone. Broad says there’s no way to trace a call, the person who calls is never asked to say their name and if they make a mistake and say their name it will never be recoreded.
The caller is given a tip number. Crime Stoppers keeps in touch with local law enforcement officers. If there is an arrest that results from that tip, then the tipster calls back to Crime Stoppers and is directed to go to a branch of a bank to pick up the reward anonymously. All they need is their number. According to Broad, “They don’t say what their name is, they don’t sign anything. It’s cash, it’s not a check and they’re able to go on their way.
While the money is important, Broad doesn’t think it is the main reason people call, “I think people finally more than ever believe that you can trust crime stoppers. It is anonymous and the reason is people are fed up with crime.
Broad was a businessman for 35 years. He’s been the head of Crime Stoppers for about 7. He now considers himself a social entrepreneur, “social entrepreneurship is where you see something that is broken and use your same entrepreneurial skills to try to find creative ways to fix that.
Crime Stoppers has proven the appeal of a mother can touch even the hardest hearts. Broad says, “I’ve vistied 5 prisons now and met with inmates and they have said that the one person who has the greatest likelihood of getting someone in prison to give information is a mother.
So Broad and his team are working to get mothers more involved. After each news conference the mother makes a robo call, “Like at election time within a half mile radius of where it happened, asking , begging someone to please give information that will help solve that crime.
The tips continue to come in.
“People are tired of being afraid.”
Because he is helping remove the fear from our streets, John Broad is our Detroit 2020 Person of the Week.
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