Though support from public donations is still heavily relied upon, FACS and its affiliated members initiated a grass roots campaign advocating for the creation of a state trust fund. The Florida Crime Stoppers Act was passed by the Florida Legislature in 1998, establishing the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund (F.S. 16.555).
The trust is funded by imposing, as a court cost, an additional $20 fine for all criminal offenses assessed by local Judges and collected by the local county clerks of the court on behalf of Crime Stoppers. Not one penny of “tax dollars” contribute to the fund, nor were any used to seed the fund initially. It is 100% funded by criminals, to assist in the arrest of other criminals, to be collected by the clerks for all county and circuit courts within the state.
Access to and use of Trust Fund monies are strictly governed by Florida Statutes. Only one Crime Stoppers program per county is eligible to receive funds, they must be a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, have an endorsement from the county commission in the county they serve and be a member in good standing of FACS. FACS in turn is affiliated with Crime Stoppers USA and Crime Stoppers International, the largest crime fighting organization in the world.
Each year, eligible programs must complete and submit a performance based grant proposal outlining its annual operational plan, along with a budget based upon the certified funds previously authorized by the Florida Office of the Attorney General.