August 24, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Steve Rubino
James City County Police to offer Text-A-Tip Program
In an effort to foster an open line of communication with citizens and to keep current with changing technology, the James City County Police Department has launched a system in which individuals can text or email the Police Department if they have information about suspicious activity or crime that has occurred. Citizens with texting capabilities on their cellular phones or with valid email accounts can text or email information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Standard text messaging fees may apply.
More and more people, particularly young people, use text messaging as a primary means of communication. This system allows for citizens to remain anonymous and report information on crime to the police without fear of retribution or repercussions from coming forward. Information reported to police will be treated confidentially. The system will provide reassurance to individuals familiar with texting and email while allowing the Police Department to gain valuable tips and intelligence regarding crime that may be occurring in the County.
The Police Department stresses to citizens that this method should not be used to report crime in progress. These incidents should be reported the traditional way of calling the police directly and using 911 in an emergency.
The system is set up within the County’s current e-mail system and does not cost the Department or County any additional funds to operate. The Police Department received grant funding from the Junior Woman’s Club of Williamsburg for printed literature promoting the program.