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The Coppell Police Department has recently expanded its ability to share information with the public. This initiative involves the use of the tip411 software package provided by a company known as CitizenObserver. This software offers a new interactive way to keep the community connected and informed through opt-in e-mail, text messages, and web published public safety alerts, enabling citizens to report suspicious activities anonymously. Interested persons can sign up to receive public safety alerts and crime bulletins at no cost to them. To sign up, go to the Coppell Police Department’s webpage (http://www.ci.coppell.tx.us/police-main). Click on the police badge just above “Sign Up for Crime Bulletins.” There, subscribers can sign up to receive alerts from the Coppell Police Department via e-mail or as a text message to a cell phone. They can also opt to receive neighborhood only or citywide alerts, as well as surrounding city alerts that are on the CitizenObserver alert system.

Even if people do not elect to subscribe for the tip411 alerts and crime bulletins, they can still receive the bulletins. When a crime alert or bulletin is created, it is sent to subscribers based upon specific criteria such as geographic area affected or potential for victimization. For example, if a car burglar is active in a certain neighborhood, the subscribers in that neighborhood would receive the crime alert in either e-mail or text format, depending on how they chose to be notified. That crime alert is then sent to the Coppell Police Department’s Twitter account (@coppellpolice), Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/CoppellPD), and also published on the department’s webpage under “Crime Bulletins.” Anyone can view the bulletins and alerts at any of these locations.

Another component of the tip411 program is the ability to submit anonymous tips directly to the Coppell Police Department. Detectives can communicate back through whatever means the person used to submit the tip. This allows for two-way communication without losing anonymity. Anytime a person submits a tip using the tip411 system, only the actual message is delivered. All other identifying information is removed before it is sent to the Coppell Police Department. Anonymous tips can be submitted in several ways. Each crime alert or bulletin has a “Submit a Tip” link at the bottom which will transmit the tip through the tip411 system. There are “Submit a Tip” buttons on both the Coppell Police webpage and Facebook page as well. A final way to submit an anonymous tip using the tip411 system is via a text message. While this is not a replacement for dialing 911 in an emergency, this technology will allow interested persons to communicate potentially helpful information and still remain anonymous. A person simply needs to text the keyword “COPPELL” and their message to “847411” (tip411).

For questions about the tip411 system, please contact the Coppell Police Department Public Information Office at 972-304-3642 or go to the Coppell Police Department’s webpage (http://www.ci.coppell.tx.us/police-main) to sign up today.

(Story courtesy of Sergeant David Moore of the Coppell Police Department.)

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