SIOUX CITY – The United States Marshal Service in the Northern District of Iowa is asking the public to share important public safety information anonymously with Marshals by sending them a secure text message about sex offenders who are suspected of violating the requirements of the Iowa Sex Offender Registry in the Northern District of Iowa. The Northern District of Iowa consists of 52 counties north of Highway 30, and encompasses the metropolitan areas of Sioux City, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Dubuque.
The U.S. Marshals Service is launching tip411, an internet-based tool from CitizenObserver that enables the public to text message an anonymous tip to the Marshals and lets investigators respond back in real time to create an anonymous, two-way conversation.
Anyone with a cell phone may send an anonymous tip to the Marshals by texting TEN400 and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous web tips can also be submitted right from the U.S. Marshal’s website at http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/ia-n/.
The U.S. Marshals Service is the lead law enforcement agency responsible for investigating sex offender registration and related offenses in connection with violations of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which was passed by Congress and enacted July 27, 2006. As part of this Act, the U.S. Marshals Service has three principle responsibilities: (1) Assisting state, local, tribal and territorial authorities in the location and apprehension of non-compliant and fugitive sex offenders; (2) Investigating violations of the Act for federal prosecution; (3) Assisting in the identification and location of sex offenders relocated as a result of a major disaster.
“We believe the public is our greatest law enforcement resource,” said U.S. Marshal Ken Runde of the Northern District of Iowa. “Tip411 allows a safe and secure way for our residents to share important information regarding non-compliant sex offenders with our investigators without the fear of retribution.”
The tip411 system is 100% anonymous, as the technology removes all identifying information before police see it and there is no way to identify the sender. The system has been successful in communities across the country. Law enforcement agencies have been helped tremendously by the system, because many of text messages sent in by the public have often led to arrests.