Mammoth Cave Cops Start Crime Hotline/Rewards
Mammoth Cave National Park law enforcement officers looking to solve crimes are urging people to take advantage of an anonymous tip line that offers rewards, the Bowling Green Daily News reported.
Park rangers have set up a reward program that will offer callers up to $1,000 for information that leads to a successful prosecution.
Ranger David Alexander said the information provided by callers will be kept in confidence and callers do not have to disclose their names.
“The more eyes and ears we have out there, the better we can do our job,” Alexander said.
Park Superintendent Patrick Reed said in a news release that while the park is usually a quiet sanctuary, rangers there face the same crimes as law enforcement officers in nearby cities and counties.
Alexander said that park rangers find marijuana plots growing in the park each year, and the tip line can be a valuable resource in efforts to track down growers.
Plant and animal poaching, thefts and drunk driving are also illegal activities that rangers at the park are seeking to curb.
Alexander said that ginseng, yellow root and other wild plants have been poached from Mammoth Cave property in violation of federal law and sold to collectors.
“If we can get folks to help us out if they see something suspicious, if they can contact us and let us know about it, that lets us be in the right place at the right time and be more effective,” Alexander said.
The park, mirroring the local Crime Stoppers tip line that now covers south central Kentucky, set up a toll-free line called Parkwatch a few years ago, but officials are doing more to publicize it in an effort to obtain more cooperation from the public in fighting crime.
Alexander said the tip line can help rangers better enforce the law in Mammoth Cave, which will lead to arrests that, in turn, will reduce crime in surrounding communities.
“The same people that we deal with in the park that are dealing drugs or growing drugs, that are stealing things or committing DUIs are the same people that are traveling roads out here in the county and selling drugs to the kids in schools and we want to try to help clear that up,” Alexander said.
To contact Alexander, call (758) 2122 or 646-7241, or call the toll-free Parkwatch line at (888) 219-1599.