HONOLULU (KHON2) — Paulette Ing never knows the name of a caller or how they will respond, but she keeps digging for information.
“Good morning, CrimeStoppers,” Ing said as she answered the phone. “Do you know if he has any weapons? How about hair color or hairstyle? Any scars, tattoos or marks?”
She has been at CrimeStoppers Honolulu for 12 years, so getting details comes pretty naturally.
“I’m nosey, so it’s interesting to read some of these cases, especially the ones in my neighborhood,” Ing said.
She is one of 25 volunteers at CrimeStoppers Honolulu. It is the only program in the country that uses volunteers to take in information from community members to help law enforcement agencies.
“When the tipsters are calling in, a lot of times they’re upset about something that happened or they’re excited,” said Sgt. Christ Kim of CrimeStoppers. “These senior citizen volunteers are able to talk to them, basically calm them down and gain the pertinent information that’s needed.”
The work of CrimeStoppers Honolulu has led to more than 3,000 arrests, including the recent capture of the man accused of sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman in her home.
“The program itself, it works,” said CrimeStoppers volunteer Claire Kaneshiro.
Kaneshiro has been volunteering for a decade and said, it is worth it.
“It’s good to know that you’re helping the community, helping the police, doing something productive,” Kaneshiro said.
All of the volunteers go through training, but there is one weapon they have that no amount of training can teach.
“They’re good because they also come with a lot of life experiences,” said Sgt. Kim, “they have a lot of patience.”
They are doing whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to keep the community safe.