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Charlotte Area News

Concord Police Seek Anonymous Texts To Fight Crime

http://66.225.205.104/GC20101220.mp3

You've heard of 9-1-1 to report emergencies. Now, there's tip411 for the public to text anonymous tips to Concord police. Captain Betty Crump says the program gives tipsters anonymity that they don't have when they make a call. It's relatively easy for police to find out where a call comes from. Not so with the tip411 text program. "We have no way of identifying the texter." And the hope is that will encourage more people to report crime. "A lot of times people are afraid to report information that they know about crimes . . . especially with younger folks, they don't want to possibly be identified as a snitch." Anonymous texts to the police department will actually go to a private business in St. Paul, Minn., called CitizenObserver. The company's technology removes all identifying information before the police department gets the text. So if you want to report a crime, here's a how it works. Text "ConcordPD," along with the tip information, to Tip411 (847411). Crump says a two-year contract for the service costs $3,500. Police departments in Matthews, Indian Trail and Shelby have a similar service.