Miami, FL (PRWEB) March 17, 2014
Since its launch in 1981, it is been the objective of Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade County to work with the community and law enforcement to effectively solve crimes accepting anonymous tips on cases and protecting the anonymity of the tipsters. This process has enabled Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade County to successfully close over 34,000 cases and make over 9,000 arrests.
It is also this process that has led the helm of Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade County, Executive Director Richard Masten, a 35-year veteran police chief, to face jail time for protecting the information that his organization has sworn to safeguard. That is the passion Masten has to protect the community he serves, taking every means necessary to protect the integrity of his tipsters.
In a move driven by the desire to protect the integrity of his tipsters and the Crime Stoppers organization as a whole, Masten is now facing a contempt of court charge after refusing to give up information to a judge on Friday, March 14th, 2014.
In a quote to NBC News*, Masten stated, “We promise the people who give us information to solve murders and serious violent crimes in this community, that they can call with an assurance that they will remain anonymous and that nothing about them or their information would ever be compromised. The case today (Friday) started creeping into that...it’s not going to happen on my watch and I understood the consequences."
Masten appeared before Judge Victoria Brennan where, for the first time in the over 20-year history of Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade, he was ordered to share information related to a tip received regarding a cocaine possession case. In his aspiration to protect his organization’s mission, Masten chose instead to eat the paper containing the anonymous tip rather than handing it over to the judge.
Although the court order was to share the tip without he source’s information, Masten was concerned that the precedence would be set for future cases involving Crime Stoppers and jeopardize the organization’s promise that all tips are to be anonymous and kept confidential.
Masten is now set to appear in court this Thursday, March 20, 2014 where he could be sentenced to up to two weeks in jail.
“It is not my desire to spend time in jail. As a veteran Police Chief I will be sharing space with criminals I arrested and put in jail, however I felt this was a necessary stand to take to protect the people that care just as much as I do about the Miami-Dade community and the national Crime Stoppers organization.”
To set-up an interview with Richard Masten or for more information please contact Emily Taffel, Mugsy PR 754-367-2722; Emily(at)Mugsypr(dot)com
*Attributed to NBC News (3/15/14) http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Miami-Dade-Crime-Stoppers-Head-Arrested-250351751.html
About Richard Masten – Executive Director, Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade County
Richard Masten is a nationally recognized and respected veteran law enforcement officer. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has over 35 years on the job, and has served as Chief of two different department and President of the Miami Police Chiefs Association. Masten is currently the Executive Director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers and the executive producer of CBS 4 Miami’s Emmy award winning crime show “Case Files”. He is the coordinator for Crime Stoppers programs throughout Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys as well as the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Belize and El Salvador.
About Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade County
Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade County was created in September 1981. The Greater Miami Crime Commission received seed money from the Southland Corporation. Law enforcement agencies from Miami-Dade, City of Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and Hialeah each detached one officer to man the phone lines. A Board of Directors was created to administer the program, Channel 4-WTVJ became the Crime Stopper television station and the program was born. Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers is funded in part through the Attorney General’s Office Crime Stoppers Trust Fund. Additionally, Crime Stoppers relies on volunteer directors and tax deductible contributions from the public in order to operate the administration of the program.