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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)
NEWS ADVISORY

SUBJECT: Seattle Police and Crime Stoppers Announce New, Text-a-Crime Tip Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
4/4/2008  11:00:00 AM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Police Media Relations  (206) 684-5520


Seattle Police and Crime Stoppers Announce New, Text-a-Crime Tip Program

SEATTLE – Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, Ron Conlin, president of Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound and Myrle L. Carner, director of Law Enforcement Services – Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound today announced a new option in sending crime tips via anonymous text messaging that would help the Seattle Police Department and other law enforcement agencies solve crimes in the community and continue to make Seattle safer.

A text-a-crime tip billboard located at 4th Avenue S. and S. Walker Street was also unveiled to publicize the campaign.

“I am pleased to announce that this new program will continue to assist the Seattle Police Department in our fight against crime,” Kerlikowske said. “Our success in fighting crime has always been partially dependant on information provided by the community. This new option of texting is today’s generation’s way of communication, including yesterday’s generation who are comfortable with phone messaging. The method of two-way communications needs to evolve with the times to further increase our ability in solving crimes in the community.”

“I am pleased to announce that Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is the first in the Pacific Northwest to introduce the program,” said Conlin. “There are people who have information that could solve major crimes, but either because of fear or apathy do not come forward with what they know, and anonymous texting is one more vital way to let law enforcement know of the crimes you may know while remaining anonymous.”

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound, in partnership with the Seattle Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, have solved almost 4,200 felony cases and recovered over $11 million dollars worth of narcotics and stolen property.

With more than 300,000 text messages per minute sent daily nationwide and where most active users are teenagers and young adults, Seattle residents and the public at large who have information about a crime are encouraged to use this new option to text crime tips. Tipsters remain completely anonymous, and may qualify for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers if their information leads to an arrest and filing of charges. Tips are taken 24-hours a day.

The directions to compose a crime tip: 1) Text to “TIP486”; 2) Type your message; 3) Send text to “CRIMES” or “274637.” When the text message is received, the sender will receive a pin number within 10 seconds or less confirming receipt of the information. The tipster will always be instructed to call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency and/or crime in progress they are reporting. You may also submit a crime tip anonymously by calling the tipline at 206-343-2020.

Under the text messaging while driving law, tipsters must stop their vehicle when texting a tip.

Through a secured computer system managed by Anderson Software and longtime supporter of Crime Stoppers, the crime tips will be masked of all personal identifiable information before text messages are anonymously forwarded to the police. The pin numbers are the only way that Crime Stoppers can communicate with the tipster. It is important for the tipster to remember the pin number to collect any future rewards, and delete information related to the crime tip from the individual’s mobile phone.

The billboard, created and donated by ClearChannel Outdoor, will later be available on mini-posters to be displayed at local high schools and community centers.

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Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound

is a vital component of the fight against crime in partnership between concerned citizens, law enforcement and the media. The program was first developed in 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Crime Stoppers work with law enforcement in taking anonymous tips, investigating and/or following-up each serious crime with representatives of the entire criminal justice system to ensure a speedy apprehension, and advising media. The program is an alternative to calling 9-1-1, working on the assumption that in some cases people who could not otherwise become involved would do so if they felt safe and/or were motivated. The program guarantees caller anonymity and offers a cash reward.

Anderson Software, LLC, headquartered in Nacogdoches, Texas, develops world-class, unique software and secures web applications designed specifically for the law enforcement, homeland security and emergency management industries. Their commercial products are deployed globally and are considered vital assets within the respective agencies utilizing them.

Clear Channel Outdoor (NYSE:CCO) is the world’s largest outdoor advertising company with close to one million displays in 49 countries across 5 continents. In the United States, the company operates just under 200,000 advertising displays and has a presence in 49 of the top 50 Designated Market Areas. It also operates airport, rail, taxi and mall advertising businesses worldwide. Its Spectacolor (U.S.) and DEFI (international) divisions are the global market leaders in spectacular sign displays, including in New York’s Times Square. Clear Channel Adshel is the company's international street furniture division, which operates over 3,500 municipal advertising contracts worldwide. Clear Channel Outdoor also operates digital displays and networks in most of its divisions. More information may be found by visiting www.clearchanneloutdoor.com