Monmouth County Launches Text a Tip System [AUDIO]
Today's teenagers text more than ever before and Monmouth County is rolling out the TXT UR Tips 2 Police program to create a way for crimes and suspicious activity to be reported quietly and anonymously in either English or Spanish.
The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office is running the program, and while it's normally text message alerts are used by officials to reach out to the public, Sheriff Shaun Golden says it's an ideal way to let the public give anonymous tips on things they might be hesitant to make a call about otherwise.
"[They can text about] anything regarding gang or gun violence, school safety, and security in light of the tragic events up in Boston. If there is something suspicious this gives an avenue for not just young adults and teen, but everyone in Monmouth County to send a text."
For crimes in progress the Sheriff says 911 is still the best option, but if that's not possible or it's not an emergency, the text system is good for keeping information anonymous.
"This is a great avenue to pursue. You can text to 67283 Keyword MONTIPS and it comes over anonymously in the sheriff's office and 911 center, and we will address it with the local police departments."
Golden notes the program is perfect for teens and young adults, who use texting as their primary source of communications.
"Pew Research Group shows that our teens are sending over 100 text messages a day on average. Over 77 percent of our teens and our teens and young adults have access to phones and text messaging."
Experienced commuters are already familiar with the See Something Say Something Program which asks people to text if they see something suspicious. Golden says this will introduce it to a younger generation who don't have a background with it, but are a naturals for it.
"Social media is here to stay, law enforcement is constantly using social media in a new way and I think this is one of those ways."