MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers 34th annual fundraiser and networking reception brought out at least 318 guests to support the anonymous tip line program that has led to nearly 500 arrests.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon served as host of the elegant gathering Monday, December 9, at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany that drew together law enforcement Officers from throughout Morris County, dignitaries and interested residents.
Officers in the Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach and Planning Section (COPS) – who serve as liaisons between the Sheriff and CrimeStoppers’ Board of Commissioners – organized the event.
Sheriff’s Office Corporal Erica Valvano provided information on Sheriff Gannon’s hallmark Hope One mobile substance use resource and recovery program, as Sheriff’s Office Investigator Ashley Craig did on the RSVP-3 program, which Sheriff Gannon started in 2018 in partnership with the Morris County Police Chiefs Association to curb violent incidents in schools.
Members of the Sheriff’s Office Explorers Post #140 were part of the festive occasion, opening doors for guests, answering questions and directing them to seating in a grand hall with buffet dining.
Sheriff Gannon named John R. Sette, the chairman of CrimeStoppers since its launch in 1985, an honorary Sheriff. He also presented the Morris Plains Police Department with the “Leaping LEO” award – which carried a $1,000 check from CrimeStoppers to the Morris Plains P.B.A. – for using the program more than other municipal police departments in 2019 to help solve its crimes.
“CrimeStoppers has really been a great tool for law enforcement throughout Morris County. And I don’t know where we’d be without it, obviously,” Sheriff Gannon said. Many of the tips pertain to drug-related crimes, he added.
“CrimeStoppers has proven effective and there are many of the county’s most notable residents serving as its commissioners,” Sheriff Gannon said.
CrimeStoppers Chairman Sette established the anonymous crime tip reporting program that offers rewards in 1985 with then-Morris County Sheriff John Fox.
Since CrimeStoppers was launched, police have made 479 arrests as a result of tips. There have been 441 cases cleared and CrimeStoppers has paid out $58,359 in rewards.
The program has achieved a total value of $444,284 in recovered property and drugs.
Sheriff Gannon commended CrimeStoppers for contributing $16,500 to creation and maintenance of the RSVP-3 app. Unveiled in October 2019, the app provides a simple, anonymous forum for students and anyone else to report threats to school safety. Chairman Sette also has been instrumental in securing an additional $7,000 in contributions to support the app.