Jasper County Crime Stoppers (JCCS) was officially launched at 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30, at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office. Volunteers from across the county, who have been working to bring this organization to the area for almost a year, were present at the launch of the nonprofit aimed at reducing crime by allowing citizens to anonymously report crime.
“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,” Pelzer said.
Lynnville and Sully area representative on the board, Margaret Vander Weerdt, said, “This is a new avenue to help fight crime for the citizens of Jasper County. It should help solve some crimes because tips are given anonymously.” She also said the board needs representation from the Baxter, Colfax, and Prairie City areas, and anyone locally or from those areas interested in volunteering for the program can contact her or any member of the board.
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 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 where I would probably see it be most effective.”
JCCF is a non-profit community organization supported by tax- deductible donations from private sources, corporations, clubs, professional associations, retailers, civic and social groups, as well as individuals. Please make your donation payable to Jasper County Crime Stoppers, PO Box 582, Newton, IA 50208.
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 at facebook.com/jaspercrimestoppers.
Three ways to submit anonymous tips for cash reward:
- Call 641-792-8362
- Text JASPER to
- Submit tips online at www.jaspercrimestoppers.com