Newton Police Expands 'Text-A-Tip' Service to Promote Safety at Newton Schools
Thursday, September 6, 2012 • 11:28am
The Newton Police Department has expanded the "Text-A-Tip" service to promote safety efforts within the Newton School District. As students return to school, parents and students now have an additional method to report problems rather than calling the school or the police department. Through our partnership, parents and students can now use the anonymous tip service to report incidents of harassment as well as any suspicious or dangerous activities such as drug abuse, weapons offenses, threatening acts and underage drinking parties. With this program, efforts will be enhanced for the Newton Police Department to continue to our great relationship with school officials help keep kids safe and secure. Please visit http://www.newtonpolice.org/crimetips.php for further information.
Further Information: released May 31, 2012
In 2010, the Newton Police Department began providing citizens with access to neighborhood level crime incident and police activity through a partnership with CrimeReports, creators of the national crime map at www.crimereports.com. Today, Newton Police Chief Michael Richards is pleased to announce that citizens will now be able to send anonymous tips to law enforcement via text message, online, as well as iPhone and Android apps through a service called TipSoft. This additional service perfectly complements our online crime map; through CrimeReports, Newton PD shares police information with the public and now through TipSoft, the public can more easily give crime information back to their Police Department.
Chief Richards believes that sharing reliable, accurate and timely information about police activity to residents is paramount to public safety. Members of the public can access the local map of police activity through the NPD website, www.newtonpolice.org as well as on the iPhone app, available for free download in the Apple iTunes store. An important tool available with the software is the ability to sign up for free customizable email alerts, so that residents and business owners can receive notifications when criminal activity occurs near their home or business. Raising awareness will help engage community members and encourage a cooperative, proactive approach to public safety in Newton.
With this new tipping software, the Police Department can now more easily leverage the eyes and ears of the public to help our Officers be even more effective in our public safety mission. The service allows people to anonymously provide tips to law enforcement through text messaging, online and through mobile apps for Android and iPhone. When a tip is sent, it is encrypted and routed through secure servers, protecting the personal details of the tip provider. It also allows police to exchange text messages with the tip provider without ever knowing the person’s identity, unless they choose to share it themselves. Text users can send their tip to “CRIMES” (274-637) with the keyword NEWTON.
The popularity of text messaging has created a significant opportunity for the public to help law enforcement agencies prevent and solve crime. The ability for any citizen who owns a mobile phone to assist law enforcement is extremely valuable and we are excited to provide this program to the public. Through this technology, Chief Richards also expects to engage a younger age-group that may typically have been less comfortable in providing a tip to the police. There is even a button on the Department’s Facebook page to submit a tip online. The Department’s website has a full description of all the available features and ways to submit tips: www.newtonpolice.org/crimetips.php
*It is important to note that people must call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency, other urgent matter or to report a crime in progress. You’ll quickly be connected to a Public Safety Telecommunicator who will ensure that officers or other emergency service personnel are immediately dispatched to the proper location. Of course, the public can always call the Police Department at 973-383-2525 and request to speak with a Police Officer at any time as well.