The “Fund’ Way to Fight Crime
Readers of MidWeek are familiar with CrimeStoppers Honolulu — its Most Wanted feature is published in these pages regularly — but may not know the organization is a nonprofit.
“We’re not funded through the city, we’re not funded through the police department or the state,” says Chris Kim, CrimeStoppers Honolulu coordinator, who is also a Honolulu Police Department sergeant. “It’s strictly through donations and fundraisers.”
Unfortunately, the pandemic put those fundraisers on hold — until now. CrimeStoppers is hosting its first in-person fundraising gala in three years on April 6 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i.
There will be live entertainment and a silent auction with prizes donated by Westin Hāpuna Beach Resort, Hoku’s at The Kāhala Hotel & Resort and Honolulu Cookie Co., among others.
“We’re excited to finally be able to have our dinner gala,” Kim says. “It’s important for the community to know we’re having it (and) it’s important for the community to support us.
“We rely on the police to fight crime, but we as a community, as an island, as a whole, have to do our part,” he adds.
The money raised will cover CrimeStoppers’ overhead and operational costs — and fund the cash rewards it gives to anonymous tipsters whose information leads to arrests.
Since its inception 42 years ago, Honolulu CrimeStoppers has helped close 8,900 cases, played a role in 3,000 arrests and paid more than $388,000 to unidentified individuals who provided critical information.
In 2019, Kim was named Coordinator of the Year at the CrimeStoppers USA National Conference. The award was an honor for him — and the program he represents.
“I am proud to say CrimeStoppers in Honolulu is one of the few if not the only in the nation that utilizes a team of civilian volunteers to answer its hotline,” he says. “All the other programs utilize a call center. When I get invited to speak at (CrimeStoppers) conferences, they’re just in shock and amazement when they hear we actually have civilian volunteers that step up every single day to answer this hotline.”
CrimeStoppers Honolulu also includes the Student CrimeStoppers and Animal CrimeStoppers programs. More than 50 schools statewide participate in the former program. The latter is run in partnership with Hawaiian Humane Society.
Table sponsorships at the gala start at $2,000. Individual tickets are $150. For more information on the gala or to make a donation, visit honolulucrimestoppers.org.