The local Crime Stoppers program is a success after only five months of operation.
It has received 60 tips as of Tuesday, said Capt. Chris Jones of the Marshalltown Police Department, who oversees the program.
Importantly, some of the tips have lead to arrests (As a means of comparison, Story County Crime Stoppers received 26 tips during its first year).
Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward for tipsters to report information - and they can do it anonymously via an online form, text message or telephone call.
Tipsters can submit data pertaining to a potential suspect's name, address, race, gender, height, weight, age, hair color, scars and marks, tattoos, clothing or animal ownership.
Crime Stoppers tips can be submitted by telephone, text message or an Internet website.
The Crime Stoppers phone line is answered 24/7 at 641-753-1234. Calls are answered by Marshall County Communications Center operators.
Text messages can be sent to 247637 (CRIMES). (Put "Marshall" first followed by text message)
Tips can be submitted online at www.marshallcountycs.com
Information is sent to a third-party server before being rerouted to law enforcement.
"Any tip we receive having information to follow-up on is given to the staff members responsible for the type of tip received and then follow-up is done," said Jones. "A majority of our tips relate to possible drug activity and/or subjects with outstanding warrants."
Clark Wideman of Marshalltown, vice president and general manager of KFJB-KXIA, was instrumental in starting Crime Stoppers after hearing a report from Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper.
He took action and assembled a team of volunteer board members to get the job done.
Wideman is chairman of the board.
"I think 60 tips is excellent after we kicked off the program Sept. 1," he said. "It is a fantastic response. The community has responded well ... we have a hard working board of directors ... they are all supportive of it, as are the media. There are many positive things happening and we are delighted."
Equally thrilled was fellow board member Joel Greer, a local attorney.
"The effort is one of the most successful fund-raisers I have seen since we moved to Marshalltown in 1986," he said. "It was a good idea immediately embraced by the community. The three main media outlets started the ball rolling, the police department and sheriff's office joined forces, and it took little time to assemble a good board of directors, get 501(c)(3) exempt status, and raise enough money to provide good rewards. The tips have already resulted in arrests, so it is working!"
The board is raising funds to maintain operations and offer rewards. Donations can be made to Marshall County Crime Stoppers, 112 W. Church St., Marshalltown.
Courtesy of the Marshalltown Times-Republican, By MIKE DONAHEY, February 4, 2016