A new internet-based tool allows residents to anonymously text crime tips to police in Allentown.
Police can also respond back via a two-way anonymous 'chat.'
Tip 411 is a web-based application of Citizen Observer for receiving, responding to and managing anonymous web, text message and Iphone-generated tips.
Anyone with a cell phone can now send an anonymous tip to Allentown Police by texting the word TIPAPD, YOUTHAPD or VICEAPD and the tip information to 847411 (tip411).
Anonymous web tips can also be submitted right from the city’s website.
It is 100% anonymous. The technology removes all identifying information before the police department sees it, so there’s no way to identify the sender.
Users simply enter the number 847411 in the New Text Message line of their cell phone; then type in TIPAPD in the text box; use one space without punctuation and then type their tip and hit the SEND button.
Shortly thereafter the sender will receive a text message indicating that their tip message was received. The sender should receive an error notice if the message fails.
“This new capability will help our residents play an active role in keeping neighborhoods safe, it will engage a younger demographic in the process, and it will save our agency time and resources,” Mayor Ed Pawlowski said.
According to Allentown Police Chief Roger MacLean, this new capability reaches out to a younger age demographic that communicates sometimes hundreds of times a day through text messaging.
“When someone may be afraid to come forward, or simply feels like they don’t want to get involved – this is a great way to get information to us without fear of retaliation,” MacLean said.
Tip411 is not a substitute for 911 or emergency calls, officials said.