Crime Stoppers Holds Annual Holiday Food Drive | New

The local Crime Stoppers unit organizes its annual food drive to benefit the Good Shepherd Mission. From 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 5, the public is encouraged to drop off donations in the Brookshire Brothers parking lot, located at 2601 11th St. in Huntsville.

According to Good Shepherd Mission Director Dave Smith, they need all kinds of canned goods, dry goods, baking ingredients and can also accept frozen foods.

“We have never been disappointed with the amount of food collected. It’s an amazing city. We all come together when there are people who need help. Our hands are still there, ready to dive into hard work,” said Debra Jones, Chair of the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors. Jones joined the organization in 2001 and has been part of the food drive for over a decade.

“Crime Stoppers is pleased to partner with Brookshire Brothers to host our annual Holiday Food Drive in support of the Good Shepherd Mission. Our past Holiday Food Drives have exceeded our expectations. This clearly shows the generosity of our community and everyone involved in the goal of ending hunger,” said Tammy Gann, Board Secretary.

For the past two years, criminal justice students from Huntsville High School have joined the effort as food drive volunteers. Former Huntsville police officer Ryann Kaaa-Bauer now teaches criminal justice classes at HHS and engages her students in community activities. Students who have taken at least two CJ courses are eligible for a scholarship awarded annually by the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors.

Crime Stoppers is a national organization that provides citizens with a safe way to report criminal activity without revealing their identity. Dedicated citizens work with law enforcement to help reduce crime and increase the number of criminal arrests and convictions statewide.

Since 1981, Texas Crime Stoppers has grown from eight organizations to 150, all run by community volunteers. They pay cash

rewards to people who report suspicious people and activities when it leads to the arrest of someone involved in a crime.

The Governor’s Office employs a team that supports more than 2,000 volunteers involved in the program across Texas. This team partners with the Department of Public Safety and other agencies to identify and capture fugitives and sex offenders throughout the state.

Walker County/Huntsville Crime Stoppers was established in 1987 and currently has four members on its Board of Directors. Their primary business is voting on Tipsters’ awards, which are presented to the board by a Huntsville Police Department liaison.

The liaison is Everett Harrell, who has held this position for five years. According to Harrell, the program creates a great opportunity for residents to contact local law enforcement without revealing their identities. This is especially important in a small town, where people may fear retaliation for reporting such incidents.

“We have a 95% success rate in identifying criminals with the help of the public,” Harrell said. Images of suspects and vehicles are posted on the Huntsville Police Department and Walker County Crime Stoppers Facebook pages. Residents who make anonymous reports are rewarded up to $1,000 for information if it leads to arrests or the seizure of firearms or narcotics.

The public is invited to attend Crime Stoppers meetings, held at 5:15 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at Huntsville City Hall. This location is subject to change when renovations to the building begin. Those interested in joining the group must be 18 years old and pass a background check.

For more information about Walker County Crime Stoppers, contact Debra Jones at 936-662-6363 or Everett Harrell at [email protected] and 936-291-5482.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity can make an anonymous report by calling 936-294-9494 or messaging through the Crimestoppers Facebook page at

Constable Harrell encourages the community to follow the Huntsville Police Department page to help identifying suspects at

Mark M. Gagnon