Many of us have chosen to live in Jefferson City because of the quality of living.
Our city has long had a reputation as a relatively safe town, and a good place to raise a family.
That creates high expectations for our local law enforcement not only to solve crimes, but work to prevent them. However, they can't do it alone; it's a team effort.
It's incumbent upon all of us to do our part to "take a bite out of crime," to borrow the famous words from McGruff, the Crime Dog.
CrimeStoppers is a nonprofit organization that helps to do this by encouraging anonymous tips to the police. The national program started in Jefferson City in 1989.
The organization is interested in:
Crimes in progress or yet to occur.
The whereabouts of wanted persons.
Unsolved felony crimes.
This week, the program proved its worth in Jefferson City by leading to the capture of a wanted man.
Police got a call around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in reference to seeing Jimmy Bittle III in the 1700 block of Jefferson Street.
A day earlier, Jefferson City Area CrimeStoppers had announced a $400 reward for information that would lead to the arrest of Bittle, who was wanted on six active felony warrants and one active misdemeanor warrant for his arrest. The warrants were from various jurisdictions totaling $134,000 in bond.
Authorities went to the area where Bittle was spotted and found him hiding in the woods. After a short foot pursuit, officers took him into custody. He now faces new charges of resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In order to pay for its rewards, CrimeStoppers relies on donations from members of the community. We encourage you to support the organization. You can donate using PayPal through the CrimeStoppers' website, jeffcitycrimestoppers.com, or you can send a check to Jefferson City Area CrimeStoppers, P.O. Box 105834, Jefferson City, MO, 65110.
Also, if you have information that could solve a crime, call 659-TIPS. The call is anonymous. You will not be asked for your name, calls are not traced, and you will not be called to testify.
CrimeStoppers is a great program to build a police-community partnership and to help keep our city safe.