Tipsters with information for the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office can now relay it to deputies any time of the day or night.
The Sheriff's office dropped its old tip line number in exchange for one linked to the State Law Enforcement Division's Fusion Center and the statewide Crime Stoppers program.
Calls made to the new number -- 1-888-274-6372 -- are answered by SLED operators who forward the message to the appropriate enforcement agency. Caller can remain anonymous. Crime Stoppers' website says calls aren't screened, recorded or traced.
The new tip line is particularly useful when information requires immediate attention,Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh said. In those cases, the county's dispatch center is notified immediately, she said.
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Through the old hotline, those who wished to give information on active investigations could only speak with a person during business hours Monday through Friday. That meant leaving a voice mail from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. week days and throughout the weekend.
Because some people weren't comfortable leaving a voicemail with sensitive information, the old tip line was "all but dormant," Sheriff P.J. Tanner said.
Tipsters can get up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest, recovery of stolen property or seizure of illegal drugs. A numerical code is assigned to the tipster and can be used to collect the money at designated banks, McIntosh said.
Information also can be emailed to Crsccrimestoppers.com.
Tips can also be sent by text to "TIPSC," using CRIMES (274637).
Follow reporter Anne Christnovich at twitter.com/IPBG_CrimeNOB.