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Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers recognized with awards

April 21, 2011
Lehigh Acres Citizen
For the sixth consecutive year, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers has been recognized for the Productivity Award. The award is given for most cases solved and the significant property and drugs recovered as a result of Crime Stopper tips.

The presentation was made at the annual conference of Southeastern Crime Stoppers held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night. Due to the size of the area served, the local organization is included in the largest population base category (1.2 million and above) in the Southeast region of the United States.

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers serves the five counties of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades. The 2010 results which placed the organization at the top were:

Cases solved - 1,661

Recovered property - $185,614

Recovered narcotics - $1,459,733

Total recovered - $1,645,347

Rewards paid - $ 154,050

Additionally, the organization received the Premier Management Award for educating and informing citizens on how the program operates after enduring adverse publicity. Through the efforts of Coordinator Trish Routte, her honest and straightforward responses to media inquiries, followed by a television segment broadcast on several stations explaining how the program works - from anonymous tip through the reward process - turned into a welcome result, Sheriff's officials said. The program saw its two strongest months in tip volume for 2010 after the education campaign, Sheriff's officials said.

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers Inc. President Paul Atkinson thanked his board members who devote so much time and support to the non-profit organization and credited Trish Routte and Laura Connell of the Lee County Sheriff's Office for their "frontline efforts."

"Their hard work has been instrumental in reaching the level of success we enjoy today," Atkinson said

Trish Routte also received a plaque recognizing her past two years serving as secretary for the Executive Board for Southeastern Crime Stoppers. She was elected to a second term as secretary earlier in the day.

In accepting the position with the other executive board members Routte said, "We've got a wealth of ideas and talent to strengthen our program." Routte has been Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers Coordinator since 2004. Laura Connell has been the assistant since 2008.



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