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Text a Tip to Buffalo Police

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-903873.mp3

Buffalo, NY – The City is adding another crime fighting tool to the Buffalo Police Department. Starting this Wednesday citizens will be able to use text messaging to tip off police to criminal activity.

Citizens will be able to text the Buffalo Police Department about criminal information from murders to drug activity. It's called "Text a Tip".

"Citizens have been saying to us that they really want to be empowered the want to contribute to making the community safer, and this is just another opportunity to do that," said Mayor Byron Brown.

The City is expanding on its already successful confidential TIP CALL line. Acting Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said since it's inception back in 2006, the Police Department averages over 4,000 tip calls a year. These tips are anonymous and will remain anonymous for the text line.

"It's also important for the public to know we will certainly get back to them if someone wants to leave their number or contact information," said Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards.

Similar text alert programs are already in place in other cities. In Chicago, police located a sex offender minutes after they were alerted from a text message.

The Mayor believes texting technology could encourage young people to contact police.

The text tip line will be monitored 24/7. Photos and videos will also be accepted. Police believe it will help them do a better job of keeping an eye on criminal activity and open dialogue with the community.

The new "Text a Tip" tip line goes into effect Wednesday at 8 a.m.. The number is 716-847-2255.