Crime Stoppers Goes Text

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA-- It's the latest crime fighting tool and it's right at your fingertips.   The fact that so many people already use text "messaging", gives authorities a good feeling about text "tipping."

Susan Rogers with Odessa Crime Stoppers spoke with NewsWest 9 and she said, "We try to use every tool available to us to get individuals to call Crime Stoppers with tip information.  Originally, all Crime Stopper tips were received by telephone."

Today's generation is into text messaging, so telephones are a thing of the past.   That's why law enforcement agencies are hoping to get a new stream of crime tips, especially from teens and young adults.

"With this generation, they're texting 24/7.  So nobody's going to know who you're texting or what's going on.  It doesn't look odd.  It's not unusual. You're not picking up the phone and calling anybody.  Nobody is going to overhear you," Rogers explained.

Text-tipping combines the traditional set-up of Crime Stoppers with the convenience of a cell phone, making it a win-win situation for everyone.

Rogers shared with us, what she envisions for this new service, "I would say, what's going to happen with us with the text-tipping, it will be a faster process.  We'll be able to get that information a lot faster.  I think the tipsters will feel a lot more secure, because they'll be to open and text."

Tipsters could literally be able to send a text if they find themselves witnessing a crime in progress, such as a drug deal or even an intoxicated driver on the road.  You can even send pictures, anything you can do with a regular text or email.

Rogers says this new software, couldn't have come at a better time, "We really believe that the text tipping is going to take us to a higher standard.  It's really going to do well for us."

Odessa Crime Stoppers is still in the beginning stages of the program, figuring out how it all works and making sure their computers will be able to handle everything that will be coming in. 
Once all the bugs are worked out, they hope to have text-tipping available in about six weeks.