Editor's note: The following information is taken from a press release provided by the Port Washington Police Department.
A new system called Tip411 was recently launched in Port Washington as a way for the community to send anonymous tips through test messages and e-mail. Text messaging has become the communications medium of choice for many people because of its cost effectiveness, simplicity and reliability — especially among a younger demographic. Also the tips are completely anonymous so a person may not feel as apprehensive giving us information.
To send a short, descriptive tip to the Port Washington Police Department, citizens can send a text message to Tip411 (847411) and then texting the keyword "PWPDTIP" before adding the tip. Citizens can also send a tip by e-mail by clicking on the "Tip411" icon on the police department’s website pwpd.org or the Port Washington-Saukville School District website under "Community Resources" and each school's websites.
The tip will then be sent to the officers working on the road. Although the tip is anonymous, the police can still converse with the tipster through a third party vendor, Citizen Observer. Citizen Observer’s technology removes all identifying information before the Police Department sees it so there’s no way to identify the sender, even with a subpoena.
Citizens are encouraged to use the program for any tips of crimes within the city. Tip411 is another method for people to give us information on any criminal activity or drug activity that is going on in the community. It is also a good way for younger people and students to get us some information about things going on in the schools that they want us to know about.
The tipline is also a great tool for students who feel unsafe or have a need to anonymously report potential violence, drugs, bullying or other sensitive issues. We want students to feel comfortable communicating with us in a variety of ways about issues that impact their safety and the security of their schools. The Tip411 program allows us to leverage texting, a technology that students are very comfortable with, to receive information that will help us to keep students and schools safe. Students are also able to speak with Officer Schleg who was assigned as a part-time school liaison officer in September. In case of an emergency, students and staff should still use 911.
The system does not replace 911 for emergencies.