The TEXT-A-TIP program has expanded to receive secure and anonymous tips on individuals illegally carrying firearms.
TEXT-A-TIP allows the public to send tips via text message about criminal activity to the Evanston Police Department from any cell phone. If the crime is in progress or if there is an emergency, please call 911.
The program expanded in April 2013 to include anonymous tips on individuals illegally carrying firearms. If the tip is successful in recovering a firearm and police are able to make an arrest, the tipster will receive a cash reward and still remain anonymous.
How to Submit a Tip Via Text-A-Tip Text Messaging
To text a tip to the Evanston Police Department, you must have text messaging enabled on your cellular phone and subscribe to a participating cell phone carrier. To begin your tip message, enter the number “274637” (which spells out the word CRIMES) in the phone number line. Then start your message with EPDTIP (to ensure the tip is routed to the proper police department) and enter your tip with as much detail as possible.
Once you send your tip via text, the information is received by an independent party in service provider that will assign each tipster a random system-generated “alias.” The purpose of this is to ensure the anonymity of the tipster.
Tipsters will automatically receive a response text providing them their “alias.” Please be aware that the Evanston Police Department will send a response text if more information is needed to process the tip.
However, the anonymity of the tipster remains secure because the information is sent to a third party service provider that is independent of the police department. The police department will only know the tipster by their “alias.”
If the tipster does not wish to participate in two-way communication with the police department they can text the word STOP to 274637 (CRIMES.) Doing so will block the EPD from responding.
What is Text Messaging?
Text messaging is also known as SMS or “short message service.” Text messaging is a way to communicate on your mobile phone by sending or receiving text messages.
The TEXT-A-TIP program will also accept pictures; video or audio files pertaining to criminal activity.
Types of Crimes to Submit
The EPD wants information on every type of crime. The TEXT-A-TIP program will allow the public to actively but anonymously help rid their neighborhoods of crime safely.
When to Submit a Text-A-Tip
You may submit a tip anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Although the TEXT-A-TIP service is free and requires no purchase or fee to participate, standard messaging rates and other fees may apply. Check your cell phone plan for more details.
No cell phone information is collected by the Evanston Police Department as part of the program. Your tip is completely anonymous to the Evanston Police Department and is only identifiable via your “alias.” Any information you submit is directed to the EPD’s Emergency Communications Center Unit who will disseminate the information to the appropriate EPD unit.
Also Available: Submit Your Tip Online via Webtip
Submit your tip through the website using any of the languages below. All information is kept confidential.
How to Submit Photos
Photos can't be included through the normal texting feature on a phone. However, photos can be submitted if you use the iPhone Mobile App or Android Mobile App on a smart phone or if you use the online Webtip (see link above). At this time, video and/or audio clips can't be submitted with text-a-tip submissions using either a smart phone or Webtip.