The LaGrange Police Department expanded its role in crime reporting by unlocking a new communication program this week.
TipSoft, a service that allows citizens to send anonymous tips by iPhone and Android mobile apps, online or via text message, is free to all users and now available to Troup County.
Residents can text tips sent to “CRIMES” (274637) with the keyword “LaGrange” from a mobile phone and receive personal responses from detectives via email or phone, Detective Chris Pritchett said.
“The widespread use of text messaging makes it easy for the public to help law enforcement agencies fight crime,” Pritchett said. “With TipSoft, they can know it’s safe for them to do the right thing without ever disclosing their identity.”
TipSoft, which is made by CrimeReports, allows agencies and members of the public to have a dialogue that is completely secure and anonymous. The service specifically allows text message providers to remain anonymous by encrypting the text messages, assigning them a unique ID, and routing them through secure servers to protect the personal details of the information provider.
To date, TipSoft has received more than 2 million tips leading to 145,000 arrests, 55,000 fugitives caught, and more than $5.3 billion recovered in drugs and property, $11,000 in vehicles recovered, and $22,000 worth of recovered weapons.
Citizens are encouraged to use TipSoft to report information about any non-urgent illegal activity, such as unsolved cases, vandalism, theft, the sale and distribution of drugs or information about crimes that are being planned in the community or in schools, Pritchett said.
In addition, the LaGrange Police Department has opened a program to help broadcast important information directly to registered members of the public vie email or text message. The service, called TipSoft Alerts, is available now. Members of the public can register for the service by visiting www.tipsoft.com and clicking on “public alerts” on the top right corner.
“We’re constantly searching for ways to improve public safety, and adding this ability to directly alert the public is an essential component to keeping communities safe,” Public safety chief Lou Dekmar said. “Raising awareness about recent trends and keeping the public informed with relevant information is part of our job.”
TipSoft Alerts, which is made by CrimeReports, allows members of the public to opt-in to receive alerts from the department. The registered user can elect to receive messages via email or text message according to their preference. TipSoft Alerts is a companion tool to TipSoft.
“The LaGrange Police Department is demonstrating its commitment to the public and to public safety by using technology to prevent, reduce and solve crime,” founder and CEO of CrimeReports Greg Whisenant said. “With TipSoft, agencies can invite the public to take an active role in making their communities safer.”
In addition to being broadcast to the public, the LaGrange Police Department is also simultaneously posting alerts to their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
These services, in addition to CrimeReports, are free services to the public.
“I’d love to see everybody in Troup County sign up for it,” Pritchett said. “You have nothing to lose.”
Residents can friend and follow the LaGrange Police Department at www.facebook.com/lagrangepolice and twitter.com/LaGrangePolice.