For Linn County Crime Stoppers, every little bit helps

Linn County Crime Stoppers estimates receiving 30-40 tips in an average week.

In the wake of the fourth homicide of the year in Cedar Rapids, police are continuing to focus on any and all leads and sources of information in finding suspects.

That includes utilizing Linn County Crime Stoppers - which has been functioning in the area since 1986. Tips can be submitted by calling 1-800-272-7463 or by texting "5227" and the tip to 274637 (CRIMES).

"A lot of times, people see a crime - or they see a part of a crime or a piece of it - and that tip that comes to the police officers is invaluable to tracking down who did it," Crime Stoppers president Roy Nowers said on Tuesday.

But there is a struggle to the organization's functionality. They operate almost entirely on donations and volunteers. Because of that, certain aspects of Crime Stoppers can't be tended to as frequently as they'd like. While they now focus on their social media outreach and texting, their website hasn't been updated for five years.

"Our operating budget comes out's us," Nowers said. "It's not any of the departments."

"The basis of how it works is...we pay out rewards for information that leads to an arrest," he added. "We have to have the reward money to pay that out. So we're always looking for donations."

Like the tips themselves, every little bit helps.

"You can begin to let the community know, 'Hey, we need to know something. We're not able to progress this,'" Marion Police Chief Joseph McHale said. "'If you're a community member and know something that happened, please come forward - because without your help, we're probably not gonna go anywhere with it."

If you're interested in donating to Crime Stoppers, contact Sergeant Laura Faircloth with the Cedar Rapids Police Department at 319.286.5439 or

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