A new avenue to help fight crime is now available for the citizens of Jasper County.
Jasper County Crime Stoppers had its official launch Monday at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, although work to bring this organization to the area started almost a year ago.
“Jasper County Crime Stoppers began meeting last May in an effort to support local law enforcement and help Jasper County become a safer place for all,” chair of JCCS Abigail Pelzer said.
Following an introductory meeting, a volunteer board set out to bring the nationwide program to Jasper County. The premise behind Crime Stoppers is providing an anonymous way for citizens to inform officers about crime, or give tips on crimes that officers are investigating. Information is received on an anonymous and secure tip line or through a secure web connection controlled by a professional program coordinator.
“Thanks to the work of JCCS volunteers, many of whom are in attendance today, we have obtained software housed right here at the sheriff’s office, that allows citizens to anonymously report crimes via text, phone or online,” Pelzer said. “These anonymous tipsters who help bring criminals to justice are eligible to receive a reward of up to $1,000 for their assistance.”
The mission of JCCS is to empower citizens to make their neighborhoods, schools and businesses safer through anonymous reporting of crime without fear of retaliation. Fore Seasons owner David Peters said he became involved with the organization because he thought it was time for the county to have this service.
“I wanted to be involved as much as I can to help get it off of the ground,” Peters said. “I think it benefits the community and in a way it could help benefit our business. We (Fore Seasons) were broken into about a year and a half ago so we want to do whatever we can to help prevent crime in the county.”
Prairie City Police Chief Joe Bartello is also looking forward to the program getting underway. He said he has seen it work well in other counties in the state and hopes for the same success locally.
“I think it is a good program,” Bartello said. “I think a lot of the burglaries, the thefts, where there is property that has to go somewhere for someone to make a profit on it or try to turn it around and use it somewhere else, is what I would probably see it be most effective.”
To use the service, citizens can call 641-792-8362, text JASPER to 274637 (CRIMES) or submit tips online at jaspercrimestoppers.com. Find more information about Jasper County Crime Stoppers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jaspercrimestoppers.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org