Local News

Crime Stoppers wants sheriff's office to change tip line

Posted January 26, 2011 5:37 p.m. EST
Updated January 26, 2011 6:23 p.m. EST

— Cumberland County’s Crime Stoppers is calling on the local sheriff’s office to change its tip line, saying the telephone number is almost identical to its own.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office set up its tip line in 2009 as 910-484-TIPS. The Crime Stoppers number, 910-483-TIPS, has been used since 1984.

Crime Stoppers board members say their tipsters could get confused, call the sheriff's office and expect a payout if a case is solved using their tips.

"We want to make sure that the caller gets the tip number that’s required in order for he or she to be paid,” board member Duncan Hubbard said. “We just want to address the issues before we have any problems.”

The difference between the two lines, officials say, is that callers speak to a person when calling Crime Stoppers and are assigned an identification number to keep the tip anonymous.

Callers to the sheriff’s office tip line leave a message.

A sheriff’s office spokeswoman said Wednesday that it's a coincidence that the numbers are one digit off and that the office has no plans to change it."

The 484 prefix was assigned to the sheriff's office, she said, and the "TIPS" acronym makes it easy for the public to remember.

Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 for information leading to arrests and convictions. Last year, the Cumberland County group paid out $10,500.