Over the last ten years, texting has become one of the easiest and most common ways to send and receive information quickly. Several cities nation wide are using text messages to report crimes, and Fountain Hills AZ has jumped on this bandwagon. Not only can their residents text-a-tip to authorities city wide, but Fountain Hills has brought this system into their public schools.
You can now text law enforcement 100% anonymously in Fountain Hills to report suspected crime. Law enforcement are all fully trained in the text-a-tip procedures. This feature, however, is never to be used in place of calling 911. Text-a-Tip shouldn’t be used in an emergency, or any situation where you need an officer to arrive. If a crime is not currently in progress you can use this texting service to report any information you may have in regard to illegal activity or crime.
Adding this service at Fountain Hills Middle School, and Fountain Hills High School has been a great help. It empowers students by giving them an anonymous voice so they do not have to fear retaliation. If a student is a witness to a crime, they can report it. Simply give information by sending a text message. Text-a-Tip uses a third party to encrypt all phone numbers sending texts. Students can rest assured their identities will not be revealed. This is also helpful for students involved in harmful situations, dealing with self harm, or who are a witness to illegal activities happening on campus.
Law enforcement believes that crimes will be reported more often, and earlier using Text-a-Tip. Students are also provided with the resources needed to make better choices from this service. Students at these schools are familiarized with the process, and provided with Text-a-Tip posters that walk them through the process. Having their anonymity secured, these students are more comfortable speaking up or asking for help.
Since adding the Text-a-Tip service to the Fountain Hills community, 45% of text messages have come from Fountain Hills Middle School. Faculty love this added security for their students. Students simply text CRIME and can report information after typing in FHMS so that authorities know the message is coming from the school. Students can report substance abuse, bullying, threats, and self destructive behaviors. This easy to use method is keeping these campuses more safe and provides the kids with a greater sense of security.
This services is especially beneficial in smaller towns, such as Fountain Hills due to the anonymity component. In smaller cities, the identity is more likely to be traceable due to the small population. Providing an anonymous service ensures that you do not have to worry about this. The sheriffs office responds to these texts accordingly, and has no way of tracing back the phone number they originated from.
To learn more about this service and how to use it, please visit https://www.fh.az.gov/264/Text-A-Tip-in-Fountain-Hills