Evanston Police Launch New "Text-a-Tip" Program

Posted on Friday Jun 10, 2011

text a tip.jpgThe Evanston Police Department has initiated a new program to assist in clearing unsolved crimes or crimes being committed that police are not aware of. The program is TEXT-A-TIP. With the high volume of cellular/smart phones in the world today, the Evanston Police Department wants to solicit anonymous information via a text message from citizens to assist in reducing crime and solving crime within the City of Evanston.

TEXT – A – TIP allows the public to send tips that include not only words, but also pictures, video and audio. TEXT – A- TIP is currently being used by other police departments throughout the country and has been successful in clearing multiple types of police investigations.

Here is how it works. While utilizing the text messaging function on your cellular phone, type in “274637” (which spells out the word “CRIMES”) in the phone number line. Then to start your message, type “EPDTIP” in the message line and enter your tip with as much information as possible and press the send key.

Tipsters will automatically receive a response text providing a code which replaces the tipster’s phone number and becomes the tipster’s “alias”. This allows for tipsters to remain anonymous and if police need more information regarding the tip that was text, police may send a text to the anonymous tipster’s alias requesting more information.

Tipsters should know that an independent third party provider initially receives the texts from the tipster and does not provide any identifying information from the tipster to the police department. Only the alias code is provided to allow back and forth communication via texting if desired by the tipster and police. The tipster can cancel any two-way texting with the police department by texting the word “STOP” to 274637 (CRIMES). This will block any further communication. No identifying information is retained or given to the police department in this TEXT – A – TIP program. All Tipsters remain anonymous.

The TEXT – A – TIP program is operational 24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week and is received and monitored by our Emergency Communications Center at the Evanston Police Department. The Evanston Police Department openly solicits information from citizens on any type of crime occurring within Evanston.

However, citizens are encouraged to call “911” if the crime is in-progress or there is an emergency. Citizens can still remain anonymous when calling and speaking with a “911” Operator.

More information regarding TEXT-A-TIP is available on the City of Evanston Website at www.cityofevanston.org/police/textatip. Additionally, tips to police can also be sent at the following web address: www.tipsubmit.com/Webtips.aspx?AgencyID=931.