Cook County Crime Stoppers seek advice in record number of cases this year

CHICAGO (CBS) –Cook County Crime Stoppers is offering a $15,000 reward for information about a shooting in the Irving Park neighborhood last month that claimed the life of 50-year-old Carlos Rivera.

AS CBS 2 investigator Megan Hickey reported Friday, Rivera is one of the record number of cases the Cook County Crime Stoppers organization has been involved in this year.

Cook County Crime Stoppers hosted their annual awards dinner at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. Hickey was the emcee for the event.

Crime Stoppers honored law enforcement, legal and municipal officials who helped bring justice to victims and their families. This year, their work is more important than ever.

Since its founding in 1986, Cook County Crime Stoppers has brought together many stakeholders – citizens, law enforcement, businesses and the news media – to encourage people to report crime information anonymously. In 2022, they were asked to help in over 100 cases – far more than any year before.

This may be related to a recent increase in violent crime we’ve seen in 2020. Last year’s homicide rate was the worst we’ve seen in decades.

So far this year, Crime Stoppers has been involved in trying to help solve:

  • 87 murders
  • Eight fatal hit-and-runs
  • Two cases of missing persons
  • An attempted murder
  • Fraud
  • A burglary case

And Crime Stoppers got results. Of the 89 instances in which they handed out flyers, 40 of those instances received tips.

And from that advice, eight cases have been closed or resolved.

“People now realize they have to do something,” said George McDade, president of Cook County Crime Stoppers.

McDade said the organization is handling the influx of cases and as best it can – because every tip, big or small, could have a life-changing impact.

“Does it work every time? The answer is no. Does it work? The answer is yes. But you can’t give up. You can’t give up. I can’t give up. The forces of order can’t give up “Politicians can’t give up. Nobody can give up,” McDade said, “because we can’t say we’re going to tolerate this.”

McDade has been with Crime Stoppers since 1995 and says about 45% of the time they get tipped.

Crime Stoppers will be pounding the pavement – knocking on doors and handing out flyers – again this Saturday in Irving Park in hopes of obtaining information about Rivera’s murder.

Mark M. Gagnon