New generation of ‘Crime Stoppers’ hope to broaden agency’s appeal

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A young board member with Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana is turning to some “non-traditional” methods to drum up involvement.

Every Monday morning, Ashley Flowers helps to host a “Murder Monday” segment on the “Joe and Alex Show” on Radio NOW 100.9. She also puts out regular content on her very own “Crime Junkies” podcast, which now has more than 35,000 downloads. For Flowers, both ventures are part of an effort to connect the Crime Stoppers brand with a younger audience.

“I needed people in their 20s and early 30s when I said Crime Stoppers, I needed to see that light in their eyes to see oh my god I know what they’re talking about,” Flowers said.

Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana has been helping solve crimes in the area since 1985. Like many chapters, Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana is on a mission to boost involvement with a younger audience.

“There have been programs across the nation that they literally aged out,” Director Steven Dubois said.

Dubois says so far Flowers’ efforts have yielded success in helping to attract a younger audience. While neither of Flower’s broadcasts discuss current cases the organization is seeking help to solve, he says they do help to spark engagement through brand recognition, donations and general support, all of which are equally crucial in Dubois’ eyes.

“To get people like her, and her age involved in our program means the program survives,” he said.

While general engagement is the first part of Flower’s plan, she’s also setting her goals to loftier expectations. Flowers says she hopes to eventually shift the “true crime” audience into an audience that can also help in the solving of Indianapolis area crime. She says she’s working on a new podcast with IMPD that will focus on current cases.

“If I just help solve one cold case in Indianapolis, I would think this is a huge success,” she said.