Starting today, anyone with information on a crime in the Seattle metro area can text a crime tip to the authorities, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Crime Stoppers of the Puget Sound launched a new “Text-a-Crime-Tip” program, which organizers hope will tap into the popularity of text messaging, especially among younger people. Seattle will become the third city to launch a text-a-tip program, behind Boston and Cincinnati. In Boston, the police department manages the program instead of a nonprofit Crime Stoppers organization.
Some witnesses may feel safer anonymously text messaging from a crime scene than being overheard calling 911 or talking to police. “It’s hard to say whether it’s going to work better or not, but we’re certainly in favor of any more communication we can get from the public,” King County Sheriff’s Sgt. John Urquhart said. In Boston, the city’s Text-a-Tip program helped solved two homicides and fielded hundreds of tips during its first few months of operation, the Boston Herald reported. About 10 tipsters sent messages while crimes were in progress and were asked to call 911.