The Wichita/Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers program won four awards at the national Crime Stoppers USA conference in New Orleans earlier this month. It was the most awards given to a local program. There are more than 300 programs in the national organization.
The winning categories were “Best Radio/PSA Award” with KNSS radio; “Best Television Award-Crime of the Week” with KAKE TV; “Board Member of the Year” and “Coordinator of the Year.”
The winning radio program was aired Aug. 27, 2017, on KNSS’ “Issues” program. Steve McIntosh, who discusses the Crime of the Week every Monday morning, asked Crime Stoppers to participate in its “Issues” program, which provides a forum for understanding how various non-profit organizations operate and how they benefit the community. During the broadcast, a Crime Stoppers representative shared a brief history of the local program, its day-to-day operations and, of utmost interest, how tipsters remain anonymous.
The winning television award was for one of KAKE-TV’s “Crime of the Week” shows. It aired May 8, 2016, and involved the theft of a new Caterpillar Skid Steer Track Loader. That show produced numerous tips, but one named the suspect and provided an address where the stolen merchandise was located. Crime Stoppers Detective Wendy Hummell spoke with the tipster and got further details, which she shared with the Wichita Police Department’s Auto Theft Section. Detectives found the Skid Steer in a remote area of a local business. The victim of the theft then shared with KAKE the successful follow-up to this Crime Stoppers broadcast. Crime Stoppers has partnered with KAKE since the program’s inception in 1980.
Det. Hummell was honored at the convention as Crime Stoppers Coordinator of the Year.
This well-deserved acknowledgement is the result of Detective Hummell’s unrelenting commitment to the Crime Stoppers program. Since assuming her role in 2015, Detective Hummell has piloted several new programs that have resulted in additional recognition for Crime Stoppers and ultimately an increase in arrests. In addition to her work with Wichita/Sedgwick Crime Stoppers, Detective Hummell also participates on the state and national Crime Stoppers Boards. Detective Hummell’s work with KNSS and KAKE TV resulted in national recognition for these media partnerships.
Fran Kentling received the Volunteer of the Year award. When a friend asked Fran to assist with a newsletter for Crime Stoppers 13 years ago, she quickly realized what a crucial role Crime Stoppers played in Sedgwick County. Since then Fran has been an active and dedicated Board member. She has led initiatives to increase awareness, strengthen community partnerships and help raise funds for awards. Crime Stoppers is solely funded by donations from the citizens in our community. Simply stated, the Crime Stoppers mission to keep the community a safe place to live, work and play has also been Fran’s mission.
Wichita/Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers is thrilled with this recognition, which it would not have been able to accomplish this without its community partners.