Crime Stoppers a.k.a. Crime Line, first began in Albuquerque, New Mexico during July 1975 which saw the fatal shooting of a female university student working one night at a local filling station. After two weeks the police had no information when out of desperation Detective Greg MacAleese approached the local television station requesting a reconstruction of the crime. The re-enactment offered $1,000.00 for information leading to the arrest of the killers.

Within 72 hours, a person called in identifying a car leaving the scene at high speed and he had noted its registration. The person calling said that he did not want to get involved so he had not called earlier. Detective MacAleese then realized that fear and apathy were the primary reasons why the public tended not to get involved. So he helped design a system where the public could anonymously provide details of the events. This system focused on stimulating community involvement and participation, taking advantage of every possible media opportunity, especially electronic media, to publicize unsolved crimes; and offering cash rewards for information leading to an arrest and/or conviction.

Since its first chapter was officially formed in Albuquerque in 1976, Crime Lines in the United States have been responsible for more than half a million arrests and more than $4 billion in recovered property.

In early 1981, four gentlemen convened a meeting at the request of the Norfolk Police Chief, Charles Grant. The purpose was to explore the idea of starting a local Crime Line organization. The head of the Chamber of Commerce held a luncheon, inviting Norfolk citizens concerned with curbing crime in the city. During that luncheon in 1981, The Norfolk Crime Line was born.