The Kentucky State Police is initiating a new program where citizens are now able to text tips about a crime from their cell phone.
The program, Text a Tip, is designed to report criminal activity and is anonymous.
To Text a Tip, text 67283 in the address field, then type KSPTIP in the message field, leave a space and then enter information about a crime. If your tip went through successfully, you will receive an instant confirmation text on your phone.
Web-based and phone tip lines have been used for years, but have scared some people away from giving’s crime tips because a perpetrator could overhear the person on the phone or the programs required Internet access.
The text a tip program is free and only requires a phone with text message capabilities.
KSP Spokesperson, Sgt. Rick Saint-Blancard said the KSP initiated the program to help citizens be proactive in addressing suspected criminal activity.
He said the program is for tips, not for crimes in progressive.
“Citizens still have to use 911 when calling about an emergency,” Saint-Blancard said. “The purpose is to report what you believe to be criminal activity.”
He said the program will be good for neighborhood watch groups and for people who want to help with tips, but are afraid to call or go to the police station.
“The tips are completely confidential,” Saint-Blancard said. “Hopefully now, people will report things they would be apprehensive about before the program.”
He said the more information given in the text, the better. Specifics such as addresses, activity and other descriptions are encouraged.
“We can capitalize on places where the public is and we are not,” Saint-Blancard said. “Everyone needs to know though, nothing is better than dialing 911 for a crime.”
Text-a-tip programs are being promoted in schools across the country to report weapon threats and reduce bullying.
He said Text a Tip can also assist with neighborhood alliance watch programs and serve as an additional resource for schools and college campuses.
Mandy Pike, junior from Mount Vernon Ill., said she thinks that the Text a Tip programs sounds like a good idea since the majority of people own cell phones and use texting as a form of communication.
“It’s much easier and less obvious to send a quick text than to make a phone call or personally go to the police station,” Pike said.
Jon Haley, junior from Russellville, Ky., said texting tips to the police seems more convenient than calling.
“Texting is what our generation is accustomed to,” Haley said. “I think the program is a good way to get citizens involved. Plus, cops can’t be everywhere all the time, so it’s good to have extra ears and eyes watching for things.”
The Text a Tip program is operational 24 hours a day and seven days a week and is received and monitored by the KSP Communications Center.