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Jonathan Perlman, founder of Tradition Senior Living in Houston & Dallas, TX.

“Public safety is a universal issue, and it’s not going away.”

Rania Mankarious

By the time Rania Mankarious interviewed at Crime Stoppers of Houston, she had obtained a master’s degree and a law degree.  She fell in love with the non-profit, and quickly accepted a position. When she told her husband, he said, “Oh, as in-house counsel?”, she answered, “No, as an intern for $10 an hour.”  That was in 2006—and she is CEO of Crime Stoppers today.

Advised to investigate non-profits after law firms did not appeal to her, she was immediately drawn to Crime Stoppers.  But why was she attracted to work in the area of crime and safety?  “I had determined by then that there are two themes that unite everyone: the health of a loved one, and the safety of a loved one,” said Rania.  “As victims in either area, you are on your knees.”  

But there was another, more important reason she was drawn to fight crime. “My parents immigrated from Cairo, Egypt, to Boston, where I was born.  They were Christians and, in Egypt, they were in a two-percent minority. There, people live and are even willing to die for their faith,” she said.  “We talked about those issues when I was growing up.”

Her meteoric rise from intern to the first CEO of Crime Stoppers was for a good reason.  She is described today as being “Crime Stoppers on steroids.” It is clearly her passion.  She describes—with her typical, high-energy enthusiasm—just what keeps her going.

“Public safety is a universal issue, and it’s not going away,” said Rania, adding that our ‘safety’ environment is worse now than ever.   

One major area that Crime Stoppers addresses regards children, and the non-profit is working towards safety in different arenas there.  “Children’s camps are a huge loop-hole,” she said.  One woman’s son, she said, was sexually assaulted at a camp, and they have been working with her for the protection of children at camp.  “We have changed laws in Texas and are now going state by state,” she said. 

Regarding school safety, they are now able to remediate the use of weapons.  They also go into schools and talk to K-12th graders about bullying. “We are getting kids to think differently, and we teach them how to embrace other kids that seem different, have ‘off tendencies,’ such as anxiety,” said Rania.  “When they recognize these signs, we teach them to embrace those who are different. Now, the ‘cool kids’ do this.”  Under Rania’s leadership, Crime Stoppers has partnered with leaders in the mental health space, including the “Be Nice Foundation” out of West Michigan.

Crime Stoppers also addresses children’s easy accessibility through social media to pills.  “We have worked with psychologist Dr. Laura Berman as she sounds the alarm on the ‘uberization’ of drugs.” (See the Balanced Voice podcast.)

“Public safety is a universal issue, and it’s not going away.”

Rania Mankarious

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Another area of emphasis at Crime Stoppers regards seniors (we like this one at The Tradition). “We’re all in this together, but we understand the tools that are used against different groups,” said Rania. “With seniors, it’s technology.”  Crime Stoppers educates seniors to understand how Covid scams have been used and how these scams have morphed into vaccines. “We talk through the big picture today—how to keep safe—and we provide helpful radio interviews across the country.” 

Speaking of radio, one of Rania’s unique skills is working with the media. “My sister was an entrepreneur who started a women’s fashion magazine in Boston, and I helped her.  It was a smart read with good fashion content and editors from New York.  After expanding internationally, 9/11 hit, and it closed shortly after.”  The experience taught her, however, how to “get the word out.” (It also eventually garnered her one of her many awards—too numerous to name here—but one can’t resist the fact that the head of Crime Stoppers was named in the Houston Chronicle among the city’s Most Stylish People.)  

One of Rania’s biggest accomplishments is having raised millions for the construction of the first Crime Stoppers headquarters in the world. “The Dave Ward Building, Crime Stoppers of Houston” comprises nearly 30,000 square feet and brings together civilians, students, and members of the community from Houston, from Texas, and from around the country—as well as members of law enforcement.  

The words “law enforcement” strike a particular chord.  “These are the ones who protect our citizens against crime,” she says.  Or—one might say—the true “crime stoppers.”  She says she spent more than one hour in deep conversation with an officer stationed outside of “The Today Show” in New York.  This gives one a picture.

A wife and mother of three, Rania is committed to protecting individuals and families against crime. “There is always something,” she says, “that motivates me and inspires me at Crime Stoppers every day.” 

Rania, you are the inspiration. 

Linda Faulkner Johnston—The Tradition

For more information, see crime-stoppers.org.

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