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      Safely submit crime tips with CrimeStoppers

      CrimeStoppers is a way to anonymously submit crime tips.

      Mid-Missouri law enforcement officials use a variety of different sources to combat crime, one of the most important being tips from the public.

      But many times, people are afraid to have their name attached to crime tips.

      "A lot of people are scared of retaliation from the people they are providing the information on...and they have fears that they would have to go to court, testify...and they don't want to be classified as snitches," Lieutenant Gary Hill of the Cole County Sheriff's Department said.

      That's where CrimeStoppers comes in. CrimeStoppers has been around mid-Missouri for over 15 years and is a way to submit anonymous tips either on the phone or online. Each tip is assigned a number and an informant never has to reveal their name.

      "We want someone to be able to make a tip, and it's anonymously of course, and that way our community will become safer," Jefferson City CrimeStoppers board member Bill Case said.

      In downtown Jefferson City, people agreed that having a way to anonymously submit crime tips is important, but some said they would prefer to go straight to the police themselves.

      "Unless I was being threatened in some way personally where I wanted it to be anonymous, then I wouldn't have any reason for not going straight to the police," Julie Glaser, of Jefferson City, said.

      Lieutenant Hill said the Sheriff's Department usually gets five or six tips from CrimeStoppers each month. He would like to see that number increase.

      Captain Doug Shoemaker of the Jefferson City Police Department said the number of tips they receive changes from month to month.

      "It varies based upon the types of crime that we want the public to get involved in. And many of those types of things are where we need more information or we believe somebody may have seen something but they didn't report it to us," Captain Shoemaker said.

      You can submit a tip to Jefferson City area CrimeStoppers by calling 573-659-TIPS (8477) or visiting their website.

      Columbia-area residents can call 573-875-TIPS (8477) or visit their website.