If you see it, text it.
The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office unveiled a new text message tip line Tuesday, aimed at giving the public another avenue to help combat crime.
Sheriff Shaun Golden at a conference today introduced MONTIPS, the agency’s newest text message tip line. Using the new system, anyone from anywhere can anonymously text in a tip to the Sheriff’s Office using their cell phone, Golden said.
Anyone with a tip on a crime or suspicious activity can text “MONTIPS’’ and their specific tip to “67283.’’ The tips are anonymous and the phone number it came from is encrypted.
“Through this technology, we’re hopeful that people throughout Monmouth County will utilize and seize this opportunity, particularly young adults and teenagers, where text messaging is the top form of communication,’’ Golden said. “With this new program we give them an avenue of communication they otherwise would not have.’’
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To use the MONTIPS text message tip line:
1.) Open a new text message on your phone.
2.) To: 67283
3.) Message: MONTIPS – (Your anonymous message here).
4.) Hit “Send”
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Golden said the Sheriff’s Office would be promoting the use of the new system in county schools and among youth and teenagers. But, he said the system can be used by anyone, not just teens.
A texted tip is received by a computer at the Sheriff’s Office and officers are alerted by an audio alarm. The officer monitoring the tip line cannot see the phone number from which the text came, only the message, according to a demonstration of the system Tuesday.
But monitoring officer, however, can text back requesting more information as needed, and the appropriate action will be taken, Golden said.
All information that comes in over the text tip line will be shared with all appropriate law enforcement agencies, including the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
“I commend the Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Golden with such a brilliant idea,’’ said Christopher Gramiccioni, acting Monmouth County Prosecutor. “As we all know, this is the most common method of communication among many of our youth. And we’ll take the information in any way we can get it.’’
Quoting recent research from the Pew Research center, Golden said 77 percent of teenagers now carry cell phones and 63 percent of teens said they exchange text messages everyday, averaging more than 100 text messages a day, Golden said.
“The numbers are staggering,’’ Golden said.
Freeholder Lillian Burry also congratulated Golden on the new system.
“Once again Sheriff Goldman and his department are ahead of the curve,’’ Burry said. “This is a wonderful innovation to help curb the problems that we have.’’