Sunday, April 19, 2009

Crime Stoppers now takes tips sent via text message, Internet

By Kate Howard • THE TENNESSEAN • April 18, 2009 Metro police announced changes to its Crime Stoppers program on Thursday with the addition of a Web site,, and an automated system to receive text messages. Prospective tipsters can fill out a form on the Web site or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES) with the word CASH, followed by the information about the crime, police said. In return, they get a tip identification number that can be used to add more information later or ask about the reward if an arrest is made. No names are used, and the tips will be kept confidential, police said. "I am very excited about this new capability because it makes the police department and Crime Stoppers more accessible to a younger generation of citizens who have made cell phone texting part of our daily routines," Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said in a release. More than 7,600 cases have been cleared with the help of phone calls to the tip line over the last 26 years, according to the police. Tips can still be reported, in English or Spanish, by calling 742-7463 (74-CRIME). The reports through the phone line, text message or Web site submission make tipsters eligible for up to $1,000 in reward money. The Web site will be managed by a board of directors, not the police department.

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