MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – -- Members of the military community can now help Naval Criminal Investigative Service solve crimes using their NCIS Tip Hotline.
By sending a text beginning with the word NCIS followed by a tip to CRIMES, 274637, going to the “Report a Crime” tab on ncis.navy.mil, or by using the free “Tip Submit Mobile” iPhone or Android app, members of the community can communicate with NCIS agents and share information about narcotics, theft, sexual assault, domestic violence gang activity, along with any other criminal activity or anticipated criminal action relating to naval services.
“It’s 100 percent anonymous,” said Heather Bain, the assistant special agent in charge of NCIS Field Office Carolinas. “(When a person sends a tip) it goes through several different servers and encrypts it. Even if I wanted to go back and find out who sent it I can’t.”
When a tipster begins correspondence with NCIS they receive an alias. Tips leading to an arrest, recovery of stolen property, seizure of narcotics or the recovery of an illegal weapon can receive an up to $1,000 reward depending on factors such as the severity of the crime and the level of detail provided.
“The more specific the information they give us regarding the allegation, the better it’s going to be for us to substantiate it,” said Bain. “Names and commands are helpful. (Tipsters should provide) as much detail as they feel comfortable giving without giving away their identity. We’re not going to try to find out who they are. We just want to substantiate the allegation.”
Tips can be provided for situations relating to naval facilities worldwide. Through the tip line tipsters do not communicate with local NCIS agents.
Bain said tips are not limited to conventional criminal activities, she highly encourages sending tips related to insider threats, espionage, terrorist activities or suspicions of such activities.
“Even if you just have a gut feeling, send it to us,” said Bain. “As law enforcement officer we are trying to make as many resources available to the public to report any suspicious activities or crimes they may be aware of anonymously so that we can thwart and mitigate that threat.”