Text-a-tip

Sheriff unveils new anti-crime initiative
Mar. 28, 2013 @ 04:42 PM

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office is offering the public an alternative to calling in crime tips.
Residents now can text in any suspicious or criminal activity that the may come across.
The new technology allows anyone with a cell phone to provide information anonymously to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office via text message. You send the tip by texting it to TIP411 (847411) and enter GCSO as the first word in the text message and begin typing.
“So far, the program has been going well. We get multiple tips in from various citizens around the county,” said Sergeant J.C. Fuller. “It seems like a lot of people are enjoying the program. I know that depending on the area, you can tell that people are signing up for the program and are receiving the emails.”
There are two parts to the alert notification program, outbound and inbound. The outbound part of the program allows Fuller to send alerts to those who have signed up for the system, notifying them of crime sprees, wanted suspects or vehicles and if the community should be on the lookout for an individual.
“I could send the alerts by ZIP code, and everybody that is signed up in the system under that ZIP code would get the alert, or I could do it by mile radius of a particular location,” Fuller said.
The second part of the program is the anonymous tip line. It allows residents to provide immediate information about a crime that may be in progress while maintaining anonymity. Deputies can not determine the cell phone, or cell phone number, the tip was received from.
“The person can send a tip through their cell phone or their email,” Fuller said. “The text generates an anonymous random code number to the individual. There is no way to go back and track what cell phone or email address the tip was sent from. It gives us the ability to communicate back and forth with the individual. They can tell us who they are, but they don’t have to.”
Fuller urges residents to not try and replace 911 with the tip line.
“If they know where a potential wanted person is or potential drug activity, they should text us so we can forward the information to the appropriate agency,” Fuller said.
For more information or to register, visit the Citizen Observer web site at www. citizenobserver.com and search for Guilford County Sheriff’s Department.
cdavis@hpe.com | 888-3657