Anonymous tips now being accepted by U.S. Marshals in search of fugitives
CONCORD - People wanting to remain anonymous providing information about the whereabouts of fugitives now will be able to send tips through texts or online to the U.S. Marshals' New Hampshire Joint Fugitive Task Force.
Previously, anonymous information could only be provided by phone - at 225-1632 - or through calls to local police departments. While that program has been very successful and remains an option, tipsters now will have the ability to text in tips while remaining anonymous, if they so choose.
The tipster and the tipster's phone number remain anonymous to law enforcement, unless they choose to identify themselves.
"With today's ever-expanding use of technology by both the public and law enforcement, this program allows the public to become an anonymous active participant in making our cities, towns and streets a safer place for all of us," said U.S. Marshal David Cargill Jr.
Tipsters are able to send information directly to the task force by texting the keyword "NHTIP" and the tip to 847411 (tip411). Investigators will read the tip and may send a text back to the tipster for follow-up information. The tipster has the option of texting back or discontinuing the conversation and ending the communication.
Regular text fees will apply based on the tipster's service plan. Additionally, tipsters may also submit a web tip to www.usmarshals.gov/district/nh/fugitives to view pictures of the task force's current and past "Fugitives of the Week." A button on that page will redirect the user to a website to submit a tip which works the same way as a text tip.
This technology is available through a company called Citizen Observer which specializes in providing the service to law enforcement agencies. The service guarantees the tipster and the tipster's phone number remain anonymous to law enforcement agencies unless the tipster chooses to identify himself.
"The task force has been extremely successful in locking up dangerous fugitives, making New Hampshire streets a safer place," said Cargill. "Our hope is that we will be able to further enhance our abilities to arrest fugitives with the addition of this anonymous texting and tip sharing ability from the public."