Partnerships Build Public Safety :: Get Involved with Marathon County Crime Stoppers

Written by Brad Karger


What would you do if you woke up in the early morning hours to find a criminal rummaging through your home? It happened to the Radenz family of rural Wausau, while their two young children were asleep in their rooms.

Hear Tom Radenz talk openly about the ordeal and how it impacted his wife and two children and motivated him to help local law agencies in keeping our community safe.

Melissa Langbehn, WAOW TV, talks with Tom Radenz, Vice President of Marathon County Crime Stoppers, about the night his home was invaded and how Crime Stoppers makes a difference in our community.

Since 1992, Marathon County Crime Stoppers has provided citizens with a safe and anonymous way to contact authorities to report suspicious behavior or crimes. Tipsters may be eligible to receive a CASH REWARD up to $1,000 if the information solves a crime or leads to an arrest of an offender.

P3 Tips appMarathon County Crime Stoppers now also offers the encrypted P3 Tips app to encourage citizens to securely and anonymously submit vital information to law enforcement online.

If you’re interested in using the P3 Tips app, we invite you to check out the helpful video tutorial below that the Janesville Area Crime Stoppers put together.

In addition, the Quick 50 program is meant to help keep kids in Marathon County schools free of weapons and drugs by offering a $50 cash payment to students who provide information.

Based on his experience working in law enforcement for 30 years, Captain Gregory Bean believes that Marathon County Crime Stoppers is not only a benefit to the Sheriff’s Department, but also to all the other law enforcement agencies in and around Marathon County since it’s a resource with an added incentive to report information about crimes.

According to Captain Bean:

“Marathon County Crime Stoppers is extremely beneficial in developing leads on cases where police initially have nothing to go on except to wait for tips to come in. With the anonymous factor and payout for valuable information, people will — and do  call.”

In fact, from 2010 to 2016, 1,596 citizen tips came in to Marathon County Crime Stoppers — leading to 370 arrests and 299 cases cleared. Some of these calls involved information about weapons; many about drugs.

In 2016 alone, a total of 282 tips came into the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office through Crime Stoppers.

Marathon County Crime Stoppers relies on volunteer directors and tax-deductible contributions from the public in order to operate the program. NO TAX DOLLARS are involved. The reward money paid out for successful tips comes from fundraising efforts and donations received from concerned citizens and local businesses.

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A community board of directors, made up of persons from throughout the area, meets every other month to evaluate tip information and to decide on the dollar amount of rewards to be paid — up to $1,000 (though many choose not to collect their rewards, so the money can further help fund the nonprofit program). Any rewards given out are distributed in a safe and private manner, without identifying the tipster.

Cell_PhoneCalls are received at the local Crime Stoppers tips line. This phone is a standalone instrument that does not provide caller ID, and conversations are not recorded. The Crime Stoppers police or civilian coordinator receiving the information completes the tips information form, makes initial inquiries, and then passes the information to the investigating officer. Calls are accepted regarding any publicized request for information, such as “Crime of the Week” or other crime(s) the caller has knowledge of.

This partnership with local law enforcement helps overcome the two key elements that inhibit community involvement: FEAR and APATHY. By guaranteeing a caller`s anonymity and offering a possible reward, Crime Stoppers allows the caller to give information in a positive atmosphere without the prospect of retribution and encourages otherwise reluctant callers to provide information.

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We invite you to download the new Crime Stoppers P3 Tips app to your mobile device (search P3 Tips in the Apple Store or Google Play).

Or if you have information about a crime, you can call the Marathon County Crime Stoppers at 877-409-8777 or submit a web tip here.

To become a Crime Stoppers sponsor, contact the Crime Stoppers Law Enforcement Coordinator at 715-261-1423 or kelly.hanousek@co.marathon.wi.us.

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Thanks to community supporters, the Marathon County Crime Stoppers Board, and numerous police representatives, this public safety resource is available 24/7 and has proven to be effective in helping make Marathon County safer.


Brad Karger - Marathon County AdministratorBrad Karger

Marathon County Administrator

In his Administrator role, Brad Karger leads an organization with 700+ employees and an annual budget of more than $170 million. Brad has been in leadership positions with Marathon County for the past 29 years. He is known statewide for generating innovative ideas and solutions to problems, openness and transparency, and a commitment to community service that extends well beyond the normal workday.  Email Brad Karger.


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