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Our Organization

Portsmouth Crime Line is comprised of a wide spectrum of private citizens who care about their community, offering time and work without drawing any remuneration. Their goal is to make Portsmouth a safer place to live, play, work and shop.

Portsmouth Crime Line was established in August 1981, after Portsmouth Police Sergeant Gary Smith (now retired) saw the successful program in Fairfax, Virginia (first program in Virginia). With the help of Sergeant Smith and Fairfax County Crime Solvers program, Portsmouth Crime Line was born.  After developing Articles of Incorporation and an independent set of By-Laws, our program now operates as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is a member of Greater Hampton Roads Regional Crime Lines board. 

The Crime Line concept has developed into a combination of efforts by local media, businesses, civic and social clubs, law enforcement agencies, and the public. Donations of airtime, newspaper space, and reward monies have established Crime Line as an effective tool to fight crime in a community. Our Crime Line board is comprised of diverse, active and dedicated community representatives who help provide a method for local law enforcement to receive information on crimes. It is our desire to continue our efforts to increase tips, which in turn increase arrests of criminals within our community.

Portsmouth Crime Line is not part of Portsmouth Police Department, nor is it run by a police coordinator assigned to assist our board of directors with filtering anonymous tips received to the appropriate detective or officer for investigation.

(left to right. Portsmouth Crime Line Board member Christie Saunders, City of Portsmouth Vice Mayor Elizabeth Psimas, Portsmouth Crime Line Board Member Vernon Williams and Portsmouth Crime Line Board Member Donna Stephens at Port Norfolk's 2017 National Night Out Event).


Does Crime Line Program Work?

The answer is quite simple: YES.  Since the start of Crime Line programs in Hampton Roads, many calls have been received resulting in thousands of arrests and recovery of substantial amounts of property. Calls have included information about murder, robbery, rape, assaults, drug and firearm offenses.

The success of Crime Line programs cannot be purely judged on statistical data alone, but through other benefits such as:

  • A greater awareness of crime in a community
  • A willingness by citizens to fight back against crime given opportunity and motivation
  • Improved relationships between police, media, and citizens
Crime Line programs are widely accepted by police agencies across the United States and internationally as a valid and effective investigative tool.  The public, through its overwhelming response, also appear to have accepted the program as a more palatable alternative to traditional methods of giving information to police about crimes in their communities.

Board of Directors

Robert Camlin      Chair
Chris Anuswith      Vice Chair
Kathryn Hall      Secretary
Donna Stephens      Treasurer
Deanna Hill      Director
Sidney Kellam      Director
Holly Lane      Director
Lynn Perkinson      Director
Daniel Salmon      Director
Christie Saunders      Director

What Others are Saying About the Portsmouth Crime Line

"Crime Line works. It's completely anonymous, your tips can lead to a cash reward, and you will make your community safer."   ~Ken S. from Portsmouth
"Our partnership with the Portsmouth Crime Line has proved to be an invaluable resource to our department and to the Portsmouth community over the years.  The tips received through the crime line have assisted our investigators with identifying suspects, helped us unravel numerous unsolved cases and aided us in locating fugitives from justice within the City of Portsmouth and throughout Hampton Roads.  We appreciate the work that the Portsmouth Crime Line has done and will continue to do for the Portsmouth community."   ~Chief Tonya Chapman, Portsmouth Police Department    
Download our informational brochure here