|Published:||Mar 06, 2012 10:52 PM EST|
|Updated:||Mar 06, 2012 11:59 PM EST|
NAPLES, Fla. - Students in Collier County are helping law enforcement fight crime on school campuses by doing the right thing, with some incentive.
The idea is for students to remain anonymous while reporting any criminal behavior going on at school. If the information the give leads to an arrest, they'll immediately get paid.
Deputies say that financial incentive is working to cut down on drugs and crime at Gulf Coast High School and others like it in Collier County.
In the last two weeks, there have been 18 arrests or drug incidents at Gulf Coast High School, half of which have come from tips from students.
"The numbers have just sky rocketed. It's really been a blessing to see," say Corporal Steve Loyd, Youth Relations Deputy at Gulf Coast High School.
Loyd has worked at Gulf Coast High for over a decade. He says the more tips they get from students, the more they, as officers, can do to keep schools safe.
"A lot of the rumors going around school are that the kids are scared to bring some stuff to school because they're afraid their friends are going to turn them in for a reward," Loyd said.
Students are all rewarded on a case by case basis getting anywhere from $50 - $1,000. If the information they give leads to an arrest, or even expulsion, they're given a personal ID number. They take that number to a local bank and walk out with the cash.
Loyd says, "normally they make a couple hundred dollars turning a kid in for a small amount of marijuana."
Trish Routte with Southwest Florida Crimestoppers says, ""we had one just the other day. A student was dealing narcotics at a Collier County High School. They've been expelled for the entire year because of what they've done and that information simply came from another student who knew about what was going on."
That student will now be able to collect a $200 reward. "It rewards them and it will help them make that decision again and they will tell their friends about it and their friends will jump on board and do the same thing," Loyd said.
The crime doesn't have to happen inside the school. Kids are also rewarded if they turn in another student for something they know about in the community, like a home burglary.