Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers Unveil New Kiosks
ROME, N.Y. -- Wanted posters, Amber Alerts and public service announcements are just some of the things that can be found on the Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers' new kiosks.
"I'm always looking to innovate and try something different and see how we can resolve issues and solve crime, and I thought that it was definitely something we can take a stab at and see if it works or not. It doesn't hurt," said James Glorioso, the non-profit's executive director.
The idea isn't new. Kiosks like this are common in the south, where Crime Stoppers is a booming operation, but they are the first for the northeast.
The Utica and Rome police departments, along with the Gloversville PD, will be the first in the region to try them out.
"We hope to have them in high traffic foot areas -- government buildings, retail outlets, anywhere where folks are going to be congregating. They will see the information that's being pushed out by law enforcement here in the Mohawk Valley, and that will lead to further arrests, solving crimes, and it's all about keeping all of our communities safe," said Captain Tim Bates of the Rome Police Department.
Officials say these kiosks also act as a deterrent. They say it's similar to a mug shot being posted on social media.
"If your face was on some kiosk down at the Hartford Mall or at the DSS building, they've found that a lot of people are turning themselves in just to get their faces off the kiosks," said Glorioso.
Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers have only purchased two kiosks so far, but expect this initiative will grow quickly in popularity and support.
"The more publicity the community and everyone involved sees [with] the success from this program, they're going to be wanting more; they're going to be asking for these," said Bates.
Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers acts as a middle-man between the public and the police. They have an anonymous tip line where people can submit crime information over the phone by calling (866) 730-8477, on their website or through their P3TIPS app.