Trash talk: Sussex turning to Crime Stoppers for tipster reward

GEORGETOWN – Sussex County is turning to Crime Stoppers in efforts to clamp down on roadside littering and illegal dumping of trash.

Chief County Constable Michael Costello updated Sussex County Council and staff on the reward program authorized by County Council in May.

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Sussex County government is turning to Crime Stoppers for its reward program targeting illegal dumping and littering.

That decision is to utilize services of Delaware Crime Stoppers.

“They have already initiated the relationship with the other law enforcement agencies within the state and they agreed they would provide that service for us,” said Mr. Costello.

County Council authorized some $4,500 for a reward program.

A reward of $100 will be awarded for information leading to an arrest.

“We had initially talked about a higher amount,” said Mr. Costello, noting the County might be able to get “more bang for their money with the amount that the County had authorized.”

Mr. Costello explained how the reward program works.

“A person who witnesses or has knowledge of a person who might have dumped the trash along the roadway, they contact Crime Stoppers,” Mr. Costello said. “It’s totally anonymous.”

Crime Stoppers will connect the tipster and that information to law enforcement agency.

“If the law enforcement agency uses that information and makes an arrest – it does not have to be a conviction but just make the arrest – the arresting agency will provide the information back to Crime Stoppers, and Crime Stoppers will contact the tipster and connect them with their reward. At that time Crime Stoppers will send up the information and we will reimburse Crime Stoppers,” said Mr. Costello.

County Councilman Sam Wilson, R-Georgetown, asked if the tipster/informant had to be an eye-witness of the illegal dumping or littering act.

“The information doesn’t have to be an eye witness account. But if they have information that will lead the agency directly to the person that did it … whatever the law enforcement agency would need in order to make that arrest,” said Mr. Costello.

The County will be posting the Crime Stopper advertisements throughout the community and also distributing flyers. Information will also be posted on the County’s web site.

County Councilman Rob Arlett, R-Frankford, suggested that information on Crime Stoppers and the County’s reward program be included in quarterly sewer bills as well as places with a lot of foot traffic, such as libraries and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Earlier this year, County Council voted 5-0 in assuming a more accountable role in reporting trash complaints to the agency of jurisdiction – Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – as well as the reward incentive program.

The reward program was supported by $4,500 from the County’s General Fund.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com.

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