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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Expeditionary Training Base"

See something, anonymously tip something!

By Story by Cpl. Emmanuel Necoechea | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | April 5, 2019

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People hesitate to report suspicious behavior or potential criminal activity because of a fear of retaliation or the thought that maybe what they think of as unusual is just a coincidence. Hesitation can have severe and dangerous consequences that hurt people. Law enforcement agencies across the country share this concern and have tried to figure out how to mitigate it.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is not any different since aboard Marine Corps and Navy installations, it is impossible to have eyes on everything everyone is doing. However, the general populace can help in the effort, and NCIS Tips comes into play by allowing Marines, Sailors and Department of Defense personnel on the base to make anonymous reports on suspicious and or potential criminal activity.

“The NCIS Tips program is just another avenue to receive information to the right people to provide further safety to our warfighters,” said Kurt Thomas, Special Agent in Charge, NCIS Camp Pendleton. “If the information provided to us can help save the lives of our Marine Corps and Navy service members or prevent a piece of military gear from getting into the wrong hands, because of this program, well then that makes this a priceless capability.”

NCIS is a federal law enforcement agency uniquely responsible for investigating felony crimes, preventing terrorism and protecting secrets for the Department of the Navy. NCIS Tips assists with this creating a symbiotic relationship between NCIS and the Marine Corps that supports accomplishing each other’s missions.

“I’d like to say that we are just an extended arm of the Marine Corps and the Navy,” said Thomas. “To ensure lethality and readiness of the Marine Corps warfighter we need to make sure that nothing is precluding them from being capable and ready to fight immediately, so any criminal acts diminish that ability.”

One of the functions of the NCIS Tips app gives the capability for the tipster to have a back-and-forth conversation with agents anonymously in real time via a chat service. To use the service, all that is required is to press on the app and submit the tip without providing the user's name, phone number or address.

NCIS is a federal law enforcement agency uniquely responsible for investigating felony crimes, preventing terrorism and protecting secrets for the Department of the Navy. NCIS Tips assists with this creating a symbiotic relationship between NCIS and the Marine Corps that supports accomplishing each other’s missions.

“I’d like to say that we are just an extended arm of the Marine Corps and the Navy,” said Thomas. “To ensure lethality and readiness of the Marine Corps warfighter we need to make sure that nothing is precluding them from being capable and ready to fight immediately, so any criminal acts diminish that ability.”

One of the functions of the NCIS Tips app gives the capability for the tipster to have a back-and-forth conversation with agents anonymously in real time via a chat service. To use the service, all that is required is to press on the app and submit the tip without providing the user's name, phone number or address.

“Everyone is on their phones nowadays, and this allows for information to be sent to NCIS rapidly, which can prevent and has prevented crime towards Marines and Sailors,” said John Greenert, supervisory special agent, NCIS Camp Pendleton.

Although it can make stronger cases for the NCIS agent if the tipster agrees to testify as a witness, the tipster can choose to be completely anonymous while providing as much information as they are willing to. The NCIS agent will discuss all options with the tipster so they can make an informed decision.

“[This option affords] people who are hesitant of coming into our offices the opportunity to report crime when they feel they need to without exposing themselves,” said Greenert. “If people don’t report crimes out of fear of retaliation or thinking that maybe it isn’t something that is a crime… we miss out on opportunities to have a positive impact on the Marine Corps community.”

NCIS relies on support from personnel on military installations like Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to prevent or stop crime. NCIS Tips is a tool for preventing crime from happening; therefore it is not encouraged to use during active incidents where people are in imminent danger. If that is the situation, 911 should be called instead. The NCIS Tips app can be downloaded on the Google Play and App Store.


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