News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
650-329-2607
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301

2/4/2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 020410
Subject :

Palo Alto Police Launch Anonymous Tip Service
Contact : Det. Rich Bullerjahn, Palo Alto Police Department    650-329-2274
Agent Scott Savage, Palo Alto Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- The Palo Alto Police Department has joined forces with TipNow™ to launch a new service that will enable police to receive anonymous cell phone text messages and e-mail communications from the public. When a text message or e-mail is sent to paloalto@tipnow.org, the TipNow service encrypts the sender's cell phone number or e-mail address and strips the message of any identifiable information. The message is then forwarded to police.

TipNow does not replace 9-1-1 service, but is best used to send information regarding non-emergency suspicious activity or crimes under investigation.

"Although we have always had a seven digit telephone tip line that the public is welcome to use, TipNow will allow the pubic to send us anonymous text or e-mails," said Police Agent Scott Savage. "The Palo Alto Police Department is always looking for ways to better use technology to solve crimes. We understand witnesses don't always want their identity known, and we'd rather get the tip anonymously than not at all. I would expect that TipNow may also appeal to young people in Palo Alto who are already very familiar with texting. Also, those with hearing or speech difficulties can now use a text-based system to communicate with us in non-emergency situations. We're really excited to see how TipNow can strengthen the communication flow between the public and our investigators."

The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety and Santa Clara University have also begun using the TipNow system with success. TipNow was developed by a Bay Area parent company, Resiligence.

This new service allows the public to send a text or e-mail message to paloalto@tipnow.org and report what they are seeing or provide information about a case police may be investigating. The public can even attach photos and videos to the tip. The TipNow system encrypts the caller's cell phone number or e-mail message and forwards the tip on to the police. Investigative personnel can then access the message and determine the best course of action. Police can also respond anonymously to maintain two-way communications with the person providing the information.

For more information about the TipNow service, please call the Police Department contacts listed above.





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