The Webster County Crime Stoppers is going high tech.
Residents can now call, e-mail and post tips on Facebook. Officer Anita Guthrie, Fort Dodge Police Department, said the calls they receive from residents calling Crime Stoppers have helped solve many cases and have led to the arrest of criminals from their ''most wanted'' list. But she worries there are still those who have information about crimes that may not be sharing it with police.
''People who may have information on crimes could have been to jail before and are afraid their voice will be recognized if they call in,'' Guthrie said.
Giving the options to send an e-mail or post on a Facebook page could help police get the needed information for solve a crime.
Facebook has also been known to be a popular networking Web site for teens.
''I've talked to a very intelligent young woman who had information about a crime and wanted to help police but didn't know how to do it,'' said Larry Hedlund, special agent for the Division of Criminal Investigation. ''She had never even heard of Crime Stoppers.''
Webster County Crime Stoppers
Call: (515) 573-1444
Facebook: search for Webster County Crime Stoppers
To reach a younger generation who may be willing to help solve crimes, the Webster County Crime Stoppers is looking into adding a text messaging service with the Fort Dodge Police Department's phones in the very near future.
''The captain's phone is carried 24/7 by officers,'' Guthrie said. ''If someone witnesses a crime they may not want to call the police but they might be willing to walk down the block and send a text message.''
The Fort Dodge Police Department, with the help of Hedlund, is looking into a program called TipSoft SMS. The program is designed to allow a person to anonymously text information to a participating phone. The application allows the person and the investigator to have a two-way dialogue without revealing who is sending the text message.
''We don't need 10,000 tips,'' said Hedlund. ''We need one tip with the right information.''
Contact Katie Williams at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org