Can free Crime Stoppers program stop violence at your child's school?

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The Crime Stoppers of Houston's Safe School Program encourages kids to say something if they see something, and officials say it works. (KTRK)

Beyond the gun debate and mental health discussions, there could be a simpler solution to preventing crime on campus that's available to every child at every school, for free, right now. It's a Crime Stoppers of Houston's Safe School Program, and officials say it works.

Michelle Sacks, manager of the Safe School Program at Crime Stoppers of Houston, goes into classrooms across the city and gives presentations to kids from elementary to high school with one message: "If you see something, say something."

"We don't want them to bring that gun to begin with, but if we're able to remove it before something tragic happens, then that's a successful day," Sacks said.

The program has been in Houston since 1997. Crime Stoppers of Houston Executive director Rania Mankarious says it works.

"It's solved nearly 2,000 school cases, removed almost 300 weapons from our schools," Mankarious said.

Knowing that kids can have a hard time opening up, Crime Stoppers offers an app in addition to its well-known tip line. "

"By text, they can send in photos, they can send in videos anonymously, we're putting the power back in their hands to keep their campus safe," Sacks said.

And the message is getting through.

"It's really hard for us to say things to adults. We get scared or nervous," student Jonathon Garivaldi said. "If you see something you send it to them."

"You could help them and you could have really changed what would have happened in their life and changed the outcome," student Mia Mapula said.

Now Mankarious want to see the program in all classrooms.

"This free program that every city in America should have is going to change the future for these children," Mankarious said.

Click here to download the Crime Stoppers app and or learn how to get the Safe Schools Program and presentation in your school.
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