Even though a nationwide, 9-1-1 SMS service has not officially rolled out yet, local enforcement agencies are allowing citizens to send anonymous tips via text message. Some departments even allow people to submit leads on their website if they are uncomfortable with communicating with a dispatcher over the phone.
The flexibility of these programs allow individuals to submit information as soon as they see it instead of waiting to get to a safe place and report it to the authorities. As cell phone use, especially texting, becomes an everyday routine, residents are able to keep their cover under wraps.
In Plymouth, Colorado, the law enforcement team recently began their own text-a-tip system. Individuals will also have the option of installing their mobile application to submit their inside knowledge, according to the Le Mars Daily Sentinel. However, this does not mean that people outside of Plymouth County will be able to report suspicious behavior because their unique short code is solely meant for dispatchers in that specific area.
"I think it will produce information that will help us solve crimes," Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo told the source. "This is a way for people to communicate with us in a very efficient manner."
Even though this system works on an individual basis, so far police officers received over two million tips and made 145,000 arrests, according to a Wisconsin FOX affiliate.
Patrons can choose to end their two-way conversation with a dispatcher at any moment by texting "STOP" to their designated phone number. This way, the warning will not be traced back to the individual, but local offices still have a physical record of the exchange.
Enforcement agencies that wish to begin their own anonymous tip line can reach out to Swift SMS Gateway. Our expertise in short code programs will help those create software that works within the department.