By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Crime Stoppers of Northeast Mississippi was recognized last week as the best program of its kind in Mississippi.
The accolades didn’t stop there. The program’s treasurer, Bill Allen, was named Local Program Board Member of the Year and Capt. Alan Gilbert, the program’s coordinator, was named Law Enforcement Coordinator of the Year.
“It’s quite an honor and accomplishment,” Gilbert said. “But it’s more of an award for the nine counties we serve – a community award.”
Gilbert said if residents didn’t call in tips and media didn’t publish the information they send out, the program wouldn’t be as effective.
“It shows the community is getting involved and calling in tips,” he said. “Sometimes they want the reward but many don’t they just want to make the community better. I think we’re the best program in the state because we have such a great relationship with the media and the community.”
Last year, Gilbert said more than 30 arrests were made because of tips. In January, tips led to two arrests that accounted for six crimes and so far in February, tips have led to two arrests, accounting for four crimes.
Allen has been the program’s treasurer for four years, previously serving on the board as chairman.
“We’ve got a really good board of directors,” he said, “with three active members from each of the nine counties – six from Lee County. They work well together and get things done. We have an outstanding coordinator in Alan Gilbert. He’s involved, understanding and does what needs to get done.”
Allen said the program is especially strong because Prentiss County Sheriff Randy Tolar selected one of his reserve deputies, Ken Shackelford, to act as an assistant coordinator for the program. Shackelford helps handle the northern four counties within the Crime Stoppers unit.
The awards were handed out during the Mississippi Crime Stoppers Training Conference in Biloxi.