In a collaborative effort between the Police and IT Departments, the City of Prattville has launched tip411, an internet-based tool that enables the public to text message an anonymous tip to police, and lets the police respond back creating a two-way anonymous “chat”.
“tip411 was chosen because we felt, based on capability and budget, it best met our needs,” said Investigator Jake Frith. “This system will also allow the public to interact, by text, with an officer in live time, which is very advantageous to both parties.”
This program is 100% anonymous. CitizenObserver’s technology removes all identifying information before PPD receives the text so there is no way to identify the sender.
It is very easy to use. To send an anonymous tip via text message to the Prattville Police Department, text the keyword PRATTPD and your message to 847411 (tip411).
There is also the option to send your tip through a form on the City of Prattville website: http://www.prattvilleal.gov/departments/text-a-tip-tip411.html
“We had an immediate attraction to the capabilities of tip411 as a community-relations tool,” stated Interim Police Chief Tim Huggins. “We felt it would open doors that had never been considered before. It gives real-time report capabilities to anyone, at any time, with texting capabilities. This is an asset not only for our department, but also for the city as a whole.”
PPD does not charge the citizen to use this system, however, normal text messaging charges may apply through the citizen’s mobile provider.
The secret witness line (334-365-2220) is still available for citizens who do not have access or do not wish to use the text-a-tip program.
PPD is one of the few police departments in Alabama using this technology. Birmingham and Homewood Police Departments are also currently utilizing tip411.
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