Have a Tip About a Crime? Text it to Police -- Anonymously
Line lets people confidentially give information about an incident or suspect
"We do get some people using it, but we'd like to see more," Detective Lt. John Janowski said.
The confidential line was set up to let people anonymously report a crime tip by typing rather than talking.
"We found a lot of people are very comfortable sending an e-mail or a text, but not comfortable picking up the phone and calling or talking face-to-face," Police Chief Charles Goss said. "That's just how people communicate right now."
To use it, text the keyword TIPSPD to 847411, followed by your tip information.
Janowski said no one has yet used the text line to turn in a suspect or offer information about a crime that's been committed -- or one that someone knows is being planned.
Instead, people are using it to report problems, like an underage party going on down the block.
Don't expect a quick response -- that's not its intended use, and the line isn't monitored like the 911 lines.
"We do respond," Janowski said. "We follow up on every tip, but it won't be as fast as if you call it in."
Tipsters remain anonymous on the text line.
The system, called TIP411, assigns a generic number to the tipster, which is all Strongsville police officers see. They are able to ask the tipster follow-up questions, which they can answer if they choose.
"There's no way for us to know who's texting," Janowski said. "We can't find out -- it all comes through a third party."