Recently, we celebrated the important role our law enforcement community fills in their dedication to keeping our Denton County residents safe with an annual Denton County Crime Stoppers banquet.

Since 1989, Denton County Crime Stoppers has played a vital role in helping all of our law enforcement agencies work alongside citizens in addressing crime — from apprehending wanted criminals to recovery of stolen property to seizing illegal drugs.

This program has adapted as times have changed, creating a Crime Stoppers app to allow citizens to report tips anonymously — without fear of reprisal or repercussion. No one who reports an anonymous tip will testify in court. Denton County Crime Stoppers is a wonderful tool that allows our residents to come forward. This system is set up to protect anonymity of those who report crimes.

Our law enforcement officers’ collective efforts have played a significant part in helping make Denton County one of the fastest-growing counties in the U.S. — a place where people come to live, work and play — knowing their families will be safe.

From 1989 through the end of 2020, Denton County Crime Stoppers has handled 12,092 anonymous tips, which led to 4,178 arrests and the clearing of 5,780 cases. A total of $1.5 million in rewards has been paid.

Their efforts combined with citizen tips have led to the recovery of 277 stolen weapons, eight recovered vehicles, $73,240 in recovered cash, $2.9 million in recovered property and an astounding $5 million in seized drugs.

Just take a moment to reflect on those numbers. Our neighborhoods, communities and, most importantly, our residents, would not enjoy the quality of life they now lead without our law enforcement.

In the past year, as we all grappled with a worldwide pandemic, they have continued their mission and gone above and beyond. When everyday life changed and slowed, they stepped forward. Crime did not stop, and neither did law enforcement. The situation led to innovation as they worked to continue addressing issues to maintain a safe environment for all in spite of the many obstacles.

Many of our local law enforcement agencies pooled resources to share the load. They stepped up to cover for fellow officers stricken by COVID-19 to ensure the important work continued unabated. That alone demonstrates their diligence and professionalism.

Recent challenges in the past year have placed much burden upon all of our law enforcement community, yet their commitment to excellence shines brightly. We are all very fortunate that each of them chose a career in law enforcement. They have our full support.

Our citizens across Denton County should know that law enforcement is working hard on their behalf — putting their lives on the line to ensure the continuity of our daily lives.

We owe them our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all they have accomplished this past year and all they will accomplish in the years to come.

As the annual celebration’s theme symbolized — a key ring with a flashlight — our law enforcement officers are the key to our success when shining a light on crime.

Those receiving awards during the annual Denton County Crime Stoppers event include:

Top 10 Apprehensions

Denton County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Craig Fitzgearld and Deputy J. Echols

Productivity awards

Most Tips Cleared, Populations 1,000-5,000: Aubrey Police Department

Most Tips Cleared, Populations 5,000-15,000: Sanger Police Department

Most Tips Cleared, Populations 15,001-60,000: The Colony Police Department

Most Tips Cleared, Populations 60,001-1 million: Denton Police Department

Most Tips Cleared on a University/College Campus: University of North Texas Police Department

Greatest Property/Dollar Recovered: Lewisville Police Department

Coordinator’s Choice Award

Investigator Carson Crow, Corinth Police Department

Media

Billboard Source, Cory Tucker

Board of Directors Award

Chief Scott Collins, Aubrey ISD Police Department

Board of Directors Partnership Award

7-Eleven Inc., Mo Karim, corporate investigation supervisor, and Tim Hall, regional corporate investigation

If you see any of these individuals and departments, please take a moment to thank them for their service.

Denton County Judge ANDY EADS can be reached at andy.eads@dentoncounty.com or by calling 940-349-2820 or 972‑434-8805.

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