Utah police depts. launch tips by text service

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A new service will allow people to submit crime tips to more than 50 Utah police departments through text messages or by sending pictures and videos from a smartphone.Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and other law enforcement and state officials announced the TipSoft program Wednesday in a news conference at the state capitol.By sending a text message or using a secure website, people can send tips about crimes anonymously to the participating police agencies. If needed, they can include videos or pictures.”Police departments need to adopt the same methods of communication as the general public. To be able to receive crime tips by text message is expected,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank. “Implementing this technology greatly increases the opportunity for citizens to participate with law enforcement in making their neighborhoods safer for everyone.”Departments that will begin using the system range from rural county sheriffs in the southern part of the state to the largest metropolitan police departments.Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said the TipSoft program will engage more people in fighting crime.”When it comes to crime prevention, we want to encourage the mindset of, `If you see something, say something,’ as many crimes are prevented and solved by members of the public with their shared knowledge,” Winder said.The TipSoft program is developed by Utah-based CrimeReports.com. According to a news release, more than 800 agencies and citizen watchdog groups around the country use the service.—Online:http:// www.tipsubmit.comhttp://www.crimereports.com

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