DEPARTMENTS TAX OFFICE
Photo by Susan Passmore
By: Susan Passmore
With a 1980s theme, the recent Baytown Crime Stoppers Sponsor Appreciation Banquet honored the Baytown Crime Stoppers original board members from March 1981 along with the Lavon Heintschel Award winner and the Goose Creek CISD campus sponsors.
Special guests were original Baytown Crime Stoppers Board members Jay Eshbach (treasurer), Jim Ferris, Dottie Tickner, Geraldine Vara and Glen Walker, who were presented with a crystal award for their role in starting the successful program. Mayor Brandon Capetillo, who presented a proclamation to Casey designating January 2019 as Baytown Crime Stoppers Month in Baytown, and Goose Creek CISD Superintendent Randal O’Brien also were recognized as special guests.
Other members of the original board were Leon Brown, R.K. Carter, Towson Ellis, Bob Gillette, Wayne Gray (vice chairman), Clyde Messiah, Dr. Nofal Musfy, Jess Navarre, Don Northrup, Joy Ralls (secretary), Peggy Rutherford, Ron Smith, Jack Strickler, Lanell Stuart, Charles Tillery (chairman), and Hugh Wood.
All 21 original members are listed on a plaque that will hang on the Wall of Honor in the Baytown Crime Stoppers meeting room.
Randy Casey, Crime Stoppers board chair, welcomed guests, and original board member Walker, who traveled from Durango, Colorado, gave the invocation.
After dinner, catered by Rooster’s, Randy Strong, board member, presented the history of Crime Stoppers. The program was organized in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which had the highest crime rate per capita of any city in the United States at that time, and it was so successful that Crime Stoppers groups have been established all over the country and in several foreign countries. In Baytown, Police Chief Bo Turner discussed the program with Jean Shepherd, chair of the Chamber Legislative Affairs Committee, and she set up a study group, headed by Towson Ellis. After a unanimous vote, the Baytown Crime Stoppers program was incorporated in March 1981.
“The first call with a tip was received on March 28, 1981. The first arrest from a Baytown Crime Stopper tip was made on April 22, 1981, by Detective Gene Sutton. The report describing the offense read, ‘Henry Silas Killian III was charged with felony theft in connection with the Saturday night theft of 38 rabbits from Leola Greer’s yard,’” Strong said.
The year 1981 ended with 85 tips, 16 arrests $15,000 recovered narcotics/property/cash and $1,950 in rewards paid. At the end of December 2018, since the inception of the program, Baytown Crime Stoppers has received 12,068 tips, made 2,058 arrests, recovered $3,585,762 in narcotics/property/cash and paid $574,327 in rewards.
Wayne Hanson, Baytown Crime Stoppers Board member since 2005, having served as chair for four years and vice chair for five years, received the Lavon F. Heintschel Award, named for the long-time board member who passed away in 2011. Hanson was a member of the Campus Crime Stoppers Committee from 2006-2013, chairing it from 2011-2013, and he initiated the Sponsor Appreciation Dinner in 2007, chairing it for eight consecutive years. He was presented with a framed certificate, and his name has been added to the perpetual plaque on the Wall of Honor with that of Janet Sibley, the first and the only other recipient of the Lavon F. Heintschel Award. Sibley, a member of the Baytown Crime Stoppers Board for 29 years and current secretary, also received a framed certificate.
“Generally, this award is intended for board members, police officers or citizens, who through their exceptional support, efforts, enthusiasm, contributions, participation and dedication have assisted the Baytown Crime Stoppers Program and the community in reducing crime and promoting public safety in Baytown and the surrounding area, thereby setting an example for the rest of us,” said John Mabry, chair of the Health/Records/Recognition committee.
Officer Randell Morris presented information about the Campus Crime Stoppers program, the cafeteria table wraps in several schools with Crime Stoppers Information and the new P3 apps the community and schools use for anonymously submitting tips. From the eight participating GCCISD schools in 2018, 193 tips, 21 disciplinary actions, 11 arrests, 32 cases cleared, $250 worth of narcotics recovered, $400 worth of property recovered and $3,590 total rewards paid are a result of the work of the Campus Crime Stoppers Boards and sponsors.
Sponsors in attendance received a gift card in appreciation of their work in the schools. Campus sponsors include Amy Kaminski, Baytown Junior; Roxie Brown, Stephenie Stults; Peggy Cayton and Michele George, Cedar Bayou Junior; Leanne Leslie, Sarah Capestani and Olivia Payne, Gentry Junior; Lauren Fox and Brenda Ayers, Highlands Junior; M.J. Nolan, David Garza, Melanie Eastman and Michael Knight, Horace Mann Junior; Shonda James, Diztorsha JeffersonLavon and Sam Laird, Goose Creek Memorial High Schooll; Enrique DeLeon, Robert E. Lee High School; and Steve Denton and Jody Roberts, Ross S. Sterling High School.
Keith Dougherty, Baytown Police Chief, expressed his appreciation of Baytown Crime Stoppers and campus programs for helping to keep the community and schools safe, and Casey concluded the program, thanking guests for attending.
Consolidated Independent School District
4544 Interstate 10 East | Baytown, Texas 77521 | 281.420.4800
P.O. Box 30 | Baytown, Texas 77522 | 281.420.4800
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