The Crime Stoppers of Ellis County has new signs for the county.

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

The Crime Stoppers of Ellis County has refreshed its old signs and dispersed them to select cities in the county. 

The local Crime Stoppers group first began in Waxahachie, before expanding to the entire county.

The Crime Stoppers of Ellis County presents the Ovilla Police Department with a new neighborhood watch sign.

“Crime Stoppers actually started up as Waxahachie Crime Stoppers ... I believe (it) was in the early nineties, and it was kind of ran out through the Chamber early on. Then we had one of our crime prevention liaison officers in Waxahachie that kind of brought it back to life again," shared Shari Phillips, executive chair of the organization. 

Crime Stoppers of Ellis County is a 503c organization.

A close-up of the new Crime Stoppers sign.

“We are licensed through the state, and it's just basically a group of community volunteers from around Ellis County that oversee the program," Phillips said.

Tips from the community are routed through tip server lines and answered by law enforcement.

"Basically, through some of our funding, we’re able to row over some of our money that we collect into prevention activities within our community. One of those is through crime prevention, and so one of the programs that the board members voted to do was provide an update for the Neighborhood Crime Watch signs in our community. We have reached out to our local police departments to see who all would be interested in receiving signs," Phillips explained. "We do so many departments per quarter, and so we’ve made really good headway in the last year and a half on providing the signs. We have a few more communities that we'll be looking to see if they’re interested in the signs as well.”

So far, the cities of Waxahachie, Milford, Italy, Ennis and Ferris as well as the Ellis County Sheriff Department each have received new Crime Stopper signs. 

In addition, Crime Stoppers of Ellis County is looking to give new signs to the cities of Maypearl, Palmer, Red Oak and Garrett.

The bigger cities will be given 40 signs, while the small cities will receive 20 signs.

“Our main thing is that if anyone is interested in becoming a member of Crime Stoppers, we do have an application process that they can go through. We’re hoping that in a few months, we can go through quarterly meetings, and our goal is to have it hosted by a police department in our communities. We would also like to be able to provide education programs regarding things like domestic violence, how to recognize things," Phillips said.

Phillips hopes that the group will gain more volunteers, after a decrease in members due to the pandemic. Currently there are five board members, including a liaison officer.

"I did have a passion for it. I started off as a neighborhood watch captain myself. I had been concerned of crime within our community and decided to trim and make a difference. A lot of people don't know about our Crime Stoppers Program in Ellis County, and so our biggest goal is to let people know in the community that we do that," Phillips shared.

To learn more about the organization, visit http://www.crimestoppersofelliscounty.org/ or go to their Facebook page @wpdcrimestoppers .