Columbus Crime Stoppers, Citing Backlog, Stop Taking Drug Tips


Facing too many tips about drugs and not enough law enforcement officers to check them out, Central Ohio Crime Stoppers has stopped taking calls about narcotics, reports the Columbus Dispatch. “We look at the tipsters as our customers,” said Kevin Miles, the group’s president. “We have to be able to respond back to them when they want to know the why and when. We’ve got our customers upset.”

Crime Stoppers and the Columbus police narcotics bureau both have tip lines. But the police bureau is so backed up with its own leads that officers haven’t followed Crime Stoppers tips for five years, Miles said. Crime Stoppers, which pays as much as $2,000 for tips that lead to arrests, gets more than 700 narcotics tips each year. The agency will take six months to determine whether it should resume taking them. Police have received 4,000 tips this year, said Sgt. Rich Weiner. He said investigators follow leads from street officers, narcotics tip lines and 311 callers. “We’re inundated with so many tips that we can only work those that show some promise,” Weiner said. “Taking one of those avenues away is not going to hinder us. There’s going to be plenty of other tips to work.”

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