Montague County looks to resurrect a law enforcement unit

MONTAGUE COUNTY,TX (KAUZ) - Montague county held a meeting at the Montague County Courthouse Annex Thursday night to resurrect a law enforcement unit to solve crime cases.

The county disbanded its Crime Stoppers unit more than 10 years ago.

Law enforcement Crime Stoppers is a successful crime unit in Texas that help law enforcement solve cases with anonymous tips.

In 2014, Crime Stoppers helped arrest more than 5,000 suspects based on those anonymous tips. Those kinds of results are what Montague County Sheriff Marshall Thomas looked to bring back to solve some cold cases.

On March 30th, 2015, 18-year-old Caleb Diehl disappeared and Sheriff Marshall said it has been difficult to solve the case.

"Not lots of information coming in and lots of misinformation coming in too," Sheriff Marshall said.

Sheriff Marshall is still on the case looking to bring closure to the family.

The Diehl case went cold but Sheriff Thomas said he thinks resurrecting Crime Stoppers in his county can help solve the case.

"In a small county, a lot of people see things that they don't realize are criminal activities that are going on," Sheriff Thomas said. "But they do see things out of the ordinary."

Montague County disbanded Crime Stoppers more than 10 years ago after no one called in. They used to take calls at the Sheriff's Office or the Police Department.

"If someone is calling in anonymously and they answer 'Sheriff's department,' they're not going to want to be involved," Sheriff Marshall said.

But now, the county will use a call center outside of Texas to receive the anonymous tips. So when people want to help, they won't have to worry about someone recognizing their voice.

"I'd like to see Caleb walk in through that door but we're still working on that case as long as we can," Sheriff Marshall said.

Sheriff Thomas said he saw amazing results when he was a Texas Ranger working off the tips Crime Stoppers provided.

The meeting was open to the public and Sheriff Marshall said he's hoping they can find their Crime Stoppers team tonight.

Montague County needs 10 volunteers to fill the board member seats. An official Crime Stoppers team is expected to be ready by fall when they are officially approved by the Texas Crime Stoppers organization.

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