INDIANAPOLIS — Patricia Lovett never thought she would have to use Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana.
However, she wanted to spread the word after her son, Marquis Lovett, was shot and killed on Feb. 20, 2020, in the parking garage near Circle Centre Mall, so she reached out to Crime Stoppers to have a flier made.
"I need for closure for me to be able to have this person who killed my son served justice," Lovett said. "That's probably the worst news that I've ever received in my whole life was the phone call that I received on my son being killed."
It's phone calls like Lovett's that keep phones ringing constantly at Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana. Director Daniel Rosenberg said Crime Stoppers receives thousands of calls each month.
"We see a lot of tips and follow-ups every month," Rosenberg said. "We saw a big jump in January. And then it's kind of just has leveled."
Rosenberg said Crime Stoppers had 2,500 calls in April and 1,500 in March.
"As society kind of reopens, and we're doing that now, and people are kind of getting out and getting into the mix, I think that we're going to see those tips climb," he said.
With a pandemic and numerous discussions around law enforcement, there are many factors going into how many calls Crime Stoppers gets.
"It is reflective of certainly in the time that we're in," Rosenberg said. "I think this is a moment in history and how people are dealing with criminal justice."
Crime Stoppers, a nonprofit, serves as a tool that can bridge a gap between police and the community. People can report tips anonymously over the phone by calling 317-262-TIPS, online and by using the Crime Stoppers app. In some cases, if a tip leads to an arrest, a caller may receive $1,000.
With a small but mighty group of five people, the team creates a consistent way for Hoosiers to share what's going on.
"I think the Crime Stoppers is a tool for people out in the community who want to have a better community," Rosenberg said.
He added people don't only report violence.
"It's not a one-stop-shop for one thing," he said. "It works for all kinds of things."
With all sorts of questions, Rosenberg said Crime Stoppers is a resource for the community to help point people in the right direction.
"You're a victim, you got to go to the police," he said. "We want you to, but if you're somebody in the neighborhood who has information, wants a safer neighborhood, who wants to remain safe and this is the only way that you feel you can do it if you're anonymous, then we're the place for you."
And it's a place Lovett hopes people will step up and call any time.
"So it is helping the community with a crime that goes on out there, to stop it, by speaking up and turning in and saying what you've seen instead of staying behind the scenes," she said.