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Janett Amaro: Helping police catch the bad guys

Janett Amaro works for Crime Stoppers. - JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS
Janett Amaro works for Crime Stoppers.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

After graduating from university, Janett Amaro began studying psychology and her plan was to become a police psychologist. From what I gather, police psychologists teach police officers, amongst other things, various crime prevention techniques. Although Janett’s life took a different course, it’s amazing how things have come full circle and today, she is helping our community through her involvement in Crimestoppers. “This is a non-profit, community based crime solving program that works in conjunction with the media, the public and the police to help make the community a safer place to live,” she said.

Janett was born in Uruguay, a country in the south-eastern part of South America and although it is one of the most economically developed countries in that continent; it is still relatively poor when you compare their standard of living to ours. When Janett was just three years old, her parents decided to immigrate to Sydney, Australia which is where she lived until the age of 19. After settling in the Land Down Under, she did learn English but spoke Spanish and Italian at home, languages that she speaks even today.

As a youngster, Janett’s life revolved around gymnastics. “This was something that I loved and I began getting involved with the sport the year after we arrived in Australia and I did it up until I was 15,” she enthused.

She headed for university to study psychology but then decided that she needed to expand her horizons and instead, applied for a working VISA and headed to Canada. “My aunt and uncle were living in Surrey so I came here and stayed. My family is still back in Australia and I do miss it but when I visit, I realize that my life is here. I’ve lived here all of my adult life so this is now home,” she smiled.

After arriving in Canada, Janett began working as a dental assistant part-time while the other half of her time was dedicated to working at an ad agency. “This is where I met my husband and we have three wonderful sons,” she said.

After her youngest son was born, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom but by the time that her little guy entered kindergarten, Janett was ready to head back out into the workforce. “My husband’s aunt was working at community policing at the time and she told me about a part-time job that was posted for the Crimestoppers coordinator position. I applied and got the job and have been there now for the last four years,” she said passionately.

The local Crime-stoppers program encompasses Chilliwack, Harrison, Agassiz, Hope, Yale and Boston Bar and has been operating since 1991. The program is not funded by any form of government or the police so they are always looking for public support. “This program is marvellous because it allows us to take back our community. I have a real passion for helping our children and awareness is a huge thing. You can contact Crimestoppers at any time and any information about crime can be submitted to us with the guarantee that no one will ever know who you are because the identity of people giving tips to Crimestoppers has been protected by the Supreme Court of Canada. We also don’t subscribe to call display or call tracing and you will never be asked to reveal your name. Instead, you are provided with a confidential code number that is used for all future communications. This is important and can be a useful tool in stopping bullying and drugs in the schools. I am absolutely passionate about getting this program into the schools and my goal is to have an in-school Crimestoppers program,” she methodically explained. In short, the program never knows you by name, only by a number and they pay rewards for information that proves valuable to an investigation. They work with the RCMP but are separate from them. You can always contact them at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Life is super busy for Janett who is both articulate and well-versed in her field. With three sons at home and a career turned passion, there’s little time to spare. However, she does find time to enjoy boating, with her family, during the summer while snowboarding in the winter. “I do snowboard but not too often. I wasn’t particularly built for the cold,” she laughed.

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