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Head of Crimestoppers Hangs up His Phone

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Demery Bishop is retiring after 14 years as Director of Crimestoppers Demery Bishop is retiring after 14 years as Director of Crimestoppers
CHATHAM COUNTY, GA -

As the head of Crimestoppers for the last 14 years, Demery Bishop has become a fixture in the crimefighting community.

But after 14 years, November 1 was Bishop's last day with the organization.

1999 was the beginning of Demery Bishop's time with what started as Silent Witness, and eventually became Crimestoppers

"Crimestoppers. Household word, household name," said Bishop. "People understand the 234-2020. They know the anonymous tipline. They don't have to think about it, it is automatic. The calls keep coming and the cases keep getting solved."
 
That's been Demery Bishop's goal for the last 14 years at the director of Crimestoppers, to get tips that help put criminals behind bars.

"Its wonderful to be able to tell people yes thank you, your tip helped solve this case," explains Bishop. "Thanks for calling Crimestoppers because you contributed back to the safety of our community."

Bishop created a television and radio show, boosted the reward fund, modernized the tip collection and information sharing, and started several community fundraisers including the azalea run and Boston butt sale.  

In 2012 Bishop received the U.S. Attorney Generals' Award for Excellence for his work with CrimeStoppers.   

Through coverage on all media sources, including right here on Coastal Sunrise every week, Bishop's face and voice has become synonymous with Crimestoppers, building a brand that folks know and trust.

"He just brings a sense of coordination, a sense of doing what is right for this community," say Major Larry Branson of the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department.

A member of the Crimestoppers board of directors himself, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Major Larry Branson says Crimestoppers anonymous tipline is a key to getting solving crimes.

"Because its absolutely confidential," says Major Branson. "We don't know who provides that information, but we've put rapists, murderers, robbers or sorts of criminals behind bars."

Chief Deputy of Chatham County Sheriff's Roy Harris credits Bishop's leadership and personality with Crimestoppers' success.

"When I was head of CNT the primary way we had of getting tips was Crimestoppers," explained Harris."Even our own hotline didn't compare to what Crimestoppers did."

But Bishop says the credit begins and ends with the people.

"That's absolutely, unequivocally what this program is about," says Bishop. "Getting that attention and solving the cases. And we don't get it unless the phone calls, the cell phone, the hard line or the computer. And when people know you have a product they want to be a part of it. You can't argue with that. That's success."

Demery Bishop is retiring, but isn't going far.  

He has a consulting agency and is starting a surfboard business with his son right on Tybee Island.
 
Crimestoppers board member Gianna Nelson will take over on an interim basis until a search for a permanent replacement is finished.

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