GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – Crime Stoppers of Great Bend and Barton County are working to further protect the community and provide a seamless way for community members to help curb crime.
The Great Bend/Barton County organization was one of Kansas’ first Crime Stoppers organizations. From its start in 1984 to now nearly 40 years later, although the goal of preventing and solving crimes is the same, the way it’s done, looks quite different.
The group introduced new technology optimizing how people submit crime-related tips. Its partnering with the Texas-based company, Anderson Software, utilizing its secure and anonymous P3 intel. It’s called P3 tips.
“That program has evolved into a worldwide app and web-based program that people can use to report tips,” said Jere Buehler, Great Bend and Barton County Crime Stoppers Board Member.
The mobile-based program allows community members to type tips into an app or online 24 hours a day. Once sent, the tips are then reported immediately to local law enforcement in the area the crime or activity took place.
“We can take that tip information and get it out to the detectives for follow-up or we can get it out to patrol officers that are out there on the streets,” said Lt. Heather Smith, Great Bend Police Department.
Tipsters can submit images, videos, and documents, as well as give follow-up information, engage in a two-way chat, check the progress of the tip, and access reward details. “It’s that information, it’s important information that these callers are getting to us to ultimately get these people off the street,” said Smith.
The new advancements are replacing the original way tips were taken in which a local detective would answer callers first-hand. This required extra time, manpower, and possibly put the caller’s identity at risk.
“In a community the size of Barton County and Great Bend, they have to be very careful to not request any personal information from the caller, so you couldn’t just give it to a communications or 911 center. There was too much risk of identifying someone,” said Buehler.
Buehler says the new tech is further securing tipsters identity and making the community safer. “That’s really the corner of Crime Stoppers. Our slogan for Barton County and Great Bend Crime Stoppers is we don’t want your name, just your information,” said Buehler.
Anonymous tips can also be submitted through a traditional phone call. Tips that lead to arrests do result in a cash reward.
For more information on the new technology, click here.
To leave an anonymous tip through phone call, dial 1-888-305-1300 or 620-792-1300.