The St. Landry Crime Stoppers program has once again been recognized on the national level.
The program won the Best Television Crime of the Week, Best Print Media, and Best Community Service Program (TRIAD) for it's population category, 100,000 and below.
However, Deputy Chief Eddie Thibodeaux was named the Top Coordinator in the nation for all crime stoppers programs, regardless of size, an honor never earned in our region of the nation.
In the previous years under Thibodeaux's direction, the program has won Best Radio, Best TV, and Best Print Media for their Crime of the Week. The program has won Best Radio for 3 consecutive years in a row but with the new rules had to sit out this year.
“The only other time Louisiana received awards was in 2014 and 2015 for population over 250,000 and was won by New Orleans Crime Stoppers and Greater New Orleans Crime Stoppers,” Guidroz said.
Last year, Lafayette Crime Stoppers was also awarded their 1st television award for the Crime of the Week which featured a murder case where a tip was received that helped solve the case.
“The recognition of our “Acadiana” Crime Stoppers programs shows the commitment to the citizens and law enforcement in Acadiana to help solve crimes," Thibodeaux said.
Thibodeaux, who serves as the spokesman for Crime Stoppers, said the Crime Stoppers USA national board looked at the program and based their decision on the following criteria: contribution to public awareness, originality of idea or concept, quality and excellence, impact on community, and results obtained.
Stephanie Johnson, President of the St. Landry Crime Stoppers board of directors, agreed with the sheriff that Thibodeaux's recognition was well-deserved.
“Deputy Chief Thibodeaux continues his concept of not only spotlighting more of the crime but bringing in the men and women of law enforcement who directly work on the cases aired,” she said.
“Coordinators are merely spokespersons, airing the men and women of law enforcement, the real heroes of law enforcement who actually solve the cases through the tips of crime stoppers should get most of the credit. The media also deserves credit but most of all the tipsters of crime stoppers, without them cases would be harder to solve," Thibodeaux said.
The television segments of St. Landry Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week is filmed by KATC TV 3 and posted on websites and Facebook in an effort to assist the victims of crimes throughout our area not just St. Landry Parish. The Crime of the Week has also aired on KLFY TV 10 and KADN News 15.
The radio St. Landry Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week is taped in studio at a local radio station KBON then shared to other broadcasting stations. The stations broadcast the Crime of the Week every Wednesday throughout the day. Then on Thursday mornings, Thibodeaux travels to Lafayette for the weekly Crime of the Week segment on News Talk 96.5 KPEL. The segment airs live and features the latest Crime of the Week, scams, and personal safety tips.
The Crime of the Week is printed in the Eunice News and Dailyworld newspapers. Bourque Signs and Sunsports are two local businesses who print our t-shirts, giveaways, decals, safety flyers, and signs throughout the parish.
This year's national award is the first for the TRIAD senior citizen program. TRIAD is a full day of workshops teaching our elderly crime prevention, home and personal safety, and healthcare topics. The day is complete with a lunch and bingo for door prizes. St. Landry Crime Stoppers awards the final bingo winner with a check for $100.00 dollars.
Last year with the help of St. Landry School Board District member Myron Guillory, St. Landry Crime Stoppers anonymous tip app was added to each desktop and mobile device in parish schools at no cost to the school system. St. Landry Crime Stoppers has covered all the fees to help give the teachers and students a way to tip on bullying, thefts, drugs, and violence at the schools.
“Working with the sheriff’s office before my retirement, I witnessed firsthand the success that the program had and wanted the program inside our schools. My goal was to provide our facility and students a safer place to learn and working with crime stoppers is a major step forward," Guillory said.
“When I started St. Landry Crime Stoppers with the assistance of the late Judge Robert Brinkman, we wanted to create a program that would aid law enforcement and citizens with their cases. We never imagined the program would become nationally recognized for its efforts in fighting crime. Since its inception, our local program has approved the payout of $57,847 in reward money, recovered $900,176 in property and drugs, arrested 263, and helped solve 215 cases," Guidroz said.
"The Crime of the Week is a public service to the citizens of Acadiana. We would personally like to thank the media outlets for giving up valuable air time spotlighting crimes in and around Acadiana. If law enforcement, the media, and the citizens all work together, more cases can be solved," he said.
The main goal of crime stoppers is to spotlight a crime, receive ANONYMOUS tips, and pay out cash for information leading to the arrest. You can help by calling the tip line at 337-948-TIPS (8477); tip online at stlandrycrimestoppers.com, or by downloading the P3 app on any mobile device and tip anonymously using your mobile device.