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Area Police Departments Show Importance of Crimestopper Tips

Updated: Friday, May 10 2013, 10:23 AM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (KGAN) -- It's the communication hub for all things emergency.

"Cedar Rapids Crimestoppers"

Dispatchers that are used to dealing with 9-1-1 calls have have to handle Crimestoppers calls differently and with caution.

"That's the whole purpose of Crimestoppers to allow people to call in and retain their anonymity," says Sgt. Cristy Hamblin.  

enforcement agencies across Linn and Johnson County all participate in
the Crimestoppers programs, but here at CBS 2 and FOX 28 we wondered how
someone making a call to phone in a tip actually remained anonymous.

person who calls in is given a password, a secure password and what
they will do is call, I can't call them, I don't know their phone
number," says Sgt. Denise Brotherton.

In Cedar Rapids, on the
other hand, callers are given special identification numbers instead of a
password like those in Iowa City. All of the security is overseen by a
special governing board.

Sgt. Denise Brotherton, ICPD SOT
19:17:01 "the person who calls is given a password, a secure password
and what they will do is call back, i can't call them, i don't know
their phone number"

"The Crimestoppers board is made of
volunteers from all of the incorporated areas of Linn County," says
Board President Marty Bruns.

Once a tip leads to an arrest, as
it did in the recent Iowa City Police officer attack, those volunteers
decide what the reward for the top will be and how it's delivered.  

"Typically there's a law enforcement officer that does do the cash disbursements," says Roy Nowers.

The officer making the drop off never sees a name.

"There's never been a time when one of our tipsters has been, you know, I should say outed," Nowers said.

It's that anonymity that makes Crimestoppers successful.

Kelsey Minor, CBS 2 News Area Police Departments Show Importance of Crimestopper Tips

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