Boston Text-Message Tip Line Helps Solve Homicides


The Boston police anonymous text-message tip line has busted at least two murder suspects and provided hot leads in other high-profile homicides in the two months since the first-in-the nation program was unveiled, says the Boston Herald. “It has performed beyond our wildest expectations. We had no idea it was going to work as well as it has,” said Police Commissioner Edward Davis. “It's a great method by which the community can talk to us without fear of retaliation.”

Anonymous tipsters have tapped out 230 text messages to the Boston Crime Stoppers unit since the line opened June 15. By comparison, the unit averages a paltry 10 phone calls from tipsters a month. The Text a Tip line, which allows witnesses to tell cops what they know anonymously without saying a word, was meant to battle a street culture that punishes “snitching.” Two days after the line went up – and minutes after a man, 26, was fatally stabbed in a barroom – investigators received this anonymous text message: “one man had a blue beater shirt and brown short hair. the other had a white t shirt that was to (sic) big 4 him black jeans and a white and black hat in a cow patt.” The message provided enough information to help cops track the alleged killer.


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