HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Crime Stoppers, the anonymous tip line that has been dormant for the last decade, is returning to aid the Horry County Police Department.
When HCPD Chief Joey Hill took over the department, one of the things he wanted to do was bring back Crime Stoppers. Now, organizers say it will be stronger than ever upon its return.
"It's an excellent resource for law enforcement," said James Lilley, with Crime Stoppers.
The program has been out of action locally since 2007. When it comes back, Crime Stoppers will partner not only with the HCPD, but also Coastal Carolina Shields, a group comprised of nearly 900 retired law enforcement officers with major crimes experience from all across the country.
"Right now, if you look at it, we have probably over 20,000 years of experience," said Mike Grabarz, president of CCS.
Lilley said Crime Stoppers realizes the importance of keeping callers' identities under wraps, especially when it comes to the cold cases.
"Somebody may not want to give their name, or come out and identify who they actually are, or come out to testify to anything because, obviously, they are afraid by the repercussions," he said.
Now, after combining law enforcement officers who have decades of experience with today's technology and investigators, the hope is cold cases will start to heat up.
"If you have something that's happened, something 30 years ago, with all the information we are able to get now, we may be able to open it up and solve that crime," Grabarz said.
While only in the beginning stages, those behind Crime Stoppers' resurgence believe once it gets started, it will be like it's never stopped.