Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Woodstock Crime Stoppers group meets

The board of the Woodstock Area Crime Stoppers (WACS) met this morning for its summer quarterly meeting. Minutes of the last meeting were approved, and a report was given on the June Crime Stoppers breakfast at the Moose Lodge.

Lack of effective promotion may have been an important reason for lower attendance at this year's breakfast. WACS attempted to circulate information to Woodstock 200 students by fliers, but Woodstock 200 schools refused to distribute fliers about the breakfast, insisting on electronic distribution only in the cyber "backpack".

I wonder if Woodstock Schools have ever surveyed parents to learn what percentage of backpack materials are even looked at by parents. My guess? Next to none.

The WACS received only $2,349 from the McHenry County Circuit Court in the same three-year time period that the Crime Stoppers for McHenry County group collected $50,995. I wonder what would account for such a large difference and how WACS could get more money, with which they could do much more.

During that period eight Crime Stoppers' groups received distributions from the Circuit Court. One of them (McHenry Crime Stoppers) discontinued operations in October 2010.

According to Illinois State Crime Stoppers Association, only the Marengo Crime Stoppers is listed as a Certified Program. Article XIII of the By-Laws includes that a Certified member must be a 501(c)(3) organization; i.e., an IRS tax-exempt organization. This may explain why most of the Crime Stoppers' groups in McHenry County are not Certified members of the state association.

Crime Stoppers for McHenry County (the legal name) is not listed, although a "McHenry County Crime Stoppers Coalition" is listed. Under the Harvard Crime Stoppers listing, the "McHenry County Coalition" is listed as being the reporting group for statistics of the Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, McHenry, Woodstock, Cary, Fox River Grove, Marengo and Harvard Police departments. In fact, there is no such organization as "McHenry County Coalition" or "McHenry County Crime Stoppers Coalition."

It would seem to me that the state association did not make up a name for the McHenry County Coalition. It must have been submitted to them. I wonder who would have submitted the name of a group that does not exist (legally).

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