Text Messaging Cops - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

08/03/07

Text Messaging Cops

Police often need to hear from you to solve crimes, but how you communicate could make a difference in your own safety.

Amarillo Crime Stoppers receives an average of 100 active tips a month. While they say they think text messaging would mean more tips pouring in, they aren't ready to put informants at risk.

Corporal Brian Thomas with Amarillo Crime Stoppers says they will eventually go to the quick tip system, but right now the safety aspect isn't there.

 "Its a good concept and everybody has a phone which is where that's coming from. Its not a bad idea, the problem is its not secure. Where somewhere out there, along the lines, somebody can actually get that. We are all about confidentiality, so that's why we don't suggest it" Thomas says.

Beyond not being secure, the system is also expensive to install.

 "It may be something we look at, its just not an expense our board at this point has decided that they want to invest in." Thomas says.

Thomas also points out that text messaging is practically a language of its own, short cuts and abbreviations his staff would have to be trained to understand. "Theres a lot of the, like you said shortcuts, that nobody would have a clue. You would have to go get a dictionary just to understand what they are talking about."

Thomas says he believes technology is the way to go. In fact he has started a Crime Stoppers web page on the popular social network, Myspace. But when it comes to giving tips, thomas says an old fashion phone call is the best way to go.

 

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