Fast 50 Program Helps Keep Students Safe - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Fast 50 Program Helps Keep Students Safe

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) -- For the past couple years, a local Crime Stoppers pilot program has been working to keep students safe, by offering cash for tips.

Crime Stoppers of Mid-Michigan calls the program Fast 50. It is sweeping through the area, starting in the Mason, Corunna and DeWitt school districts.

The program is simple. Students turn in an anonymous tip and officials give them $50 in cash.

"A lot of people see things and think, man, I should do something about that, but they don't really know where they should go, or who they should go to," said Nick Toodzio, the assistant principal at Mason High School.

The program's proven to be successful at high schools, like Mason. There, the school promotes the program with fliers. Employees also add information to morning announcements and the school's Facebook page.

Students who pass on proven information of weapon, drug or school administration violations get cash.

"Kids know a lot of things out there, a lot of things that are going on that shouldn't be going on," said Joel Maatman, Crime Stoppers Mid-Michigan Vice President. "The Fast 50 is a program that just rewards those individuals that come forward."

Toodzio says students use the phone number to report more than just crime.

"They use the program for a lot of things, like if they're afraid a friend might hurt themselves or if someone is being bullied," Toodzio said.

While $50 seems like a big push to turn in a tip, Toodzio says students do it to keep the school safe. He says more than half the students actually turn the $50 reward down.

With so much success at the pilot high schools, Crime Stoppers of Mid-Michigan plans to expand the program to Grand Ledge this fall.

The City of Lansing also agreed to a $2,000 grant to bring the program to the Capitol City. Through the donation, Eastern, Sexton and Everett High Schools would all get $500 and the Crime Stoppers program would receive the other $500.

If you have a tip for Crime Stoppers, or just want more information, visit the organization's website.

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