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Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 12:26am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — The El Paso Independent School District wants the community to help them fight crime by using their eyes, ears, and thumbs.
Police for the district unveiled an anonymous texting tip line on Wednesday, called "Tip411," that allows students, staff, and faculty to report crimes on campus.
Users can send an anonymous text message with information on a crime to EPISD Police. They are instructed to text the keyword "TIPEPISDPD" with as much information on the crime as possible, to the number 847411 (Tip411). A police officer will receive the text directly and respond in real time.
Users remain completely anonymous, a feature police say will make people feel more comfortable to come forward with information. Authorities say crimes often go unreported because people are afraid of retaliation from suspects.
EPISD Police want to stress that this tip line is only for criminal offenses -- issues like bullying are handled separately by district officials.
The anonymous tip line is expected to enhance safety on school campuses.
"It's at no cost to the district. We're running kind of a pilot project to see how it operates for a year. And I think that what we wanted to do was reach out to the community in the mechanisms that are popular now like social media," said EPISD Police Chief Victor Araiza.
The new system also lets EPISD Police use social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to communicate with the community in the event of an emergency situation.