Crime Stoppers came to the city 11 years ago after Nicolaisen and a group of local business owners and community volunteers decided residents needed an anonymous outlet for informants who, for whatever reason, wanted their identities protected.
Since then, the organization has chugged along pretty much unchanged since its birth — same size, many of the same volunteers and not much money, Crime Stoppers President Nancy Michael said.
"We're very poor, so we make every penny count," she said.
The all-volunteer organization, then, is in perpetual fund-raising mode, especially since most of its events are on the small side, she said, as hundreds of city employees filed through a back patio of the Glendale Police Station for barbecued food on $5 donations.
Last year, the same barbecue raised about $300, she said.
Money from Wednesday's cookout — which drew employees from nearly every city department — went to the Glendale Police Officers Assn. Foundation's fund to benefit Glendale Police Officer Joshua Wofford's 1-year-old son, who is battling leukemia.
Almost all fundraising throughout the year benefits the group's reward fund, which can pay anonymous tippers up to $1,000 for information that leads to arrests and convictions.
In addition to the lack of personal information, the Crime Stoppers hotline does not have caller ID and does not record the conversation. Hotline staffers take notes during the call, which are then forwarded to the appropriate detective bureau, Michael said.
The caller is given a code number to use for a reward, should the conditions be met. The anonymity surrounding the receipt of the reward can be as intense as a coded drop-off at a postal office, or a simple pick up, Nicolaisen said.