CHAMPAIGN — John Hecker, founding president of Crime Stoppers of Champaign County, has won the Freddi Moody Memorial P3 Board Member of the Year Award from the national Crime Stoppers organization.
He received the honor during last weekend’s Crime Stoppers USA Annual Training Conference in Tempe, Ariz., from Anderson Software, which provides products to Crime Stoppers programs.
Hecker was nominated by board Vice President Dawn Coyne Trimble and former Champaign Deputy Police Chief Troy Daniels, past police coordinator for the local board. Both Trimble and Daniels sit on the Crime Stoppers USA board.
Hecker was board president when Crime Stoppers of Champaign County was created in March 1986 and continues in that position today.
In their nomination letter, Coyne and Daniels said Hecker is believed to be the longest-serving local board president in the Crime Stoppers organization worldwide.
They described Hecker as a relentless supporter of the program who embraced the latest advances in technology to make it easier for citizens to provide information about crimes anonymously, such as Anderson Software’s mobile app that allows cellphone users to submit tips.
They also noted Hecker’s support of the successful local Gun Bounty program to reduce gun violence, which guarantees a $1,000 reward for tips that lead to a felony gun arrest. The program increased weapons-related tips by 85 percent, and the number of weapons seized jumped 533 percent.
Champaign County Crime Stoppers also accepts tips at 217-373-8477 and 373tips.com. Tipsters always remain anonymous.