08/20/09 09-080

08/20/09 09-080

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August 20, 2009


San Francisco Police Department Text-A-Tip to Begin August 20

The San Francisco Police Department will implement Text-a-Tip beginning Thursday, August 20. Text-a-Tip is a Web-based program allowing citizens to report criminal activity or to supply crime-related information through texting from their cell phones. Studies indicate that teenagers and young adults text more often than they talk on their cell phones, and this program is aimed at getting this demographic more involved in reporting crime.

To report information, the tipster enters either TIP411or 847411 in the "To" field and the keyword SFPD in the text field, followed by the message. (Complete instructions follow.) Through computers with Internet capability, SFPD Operations personnel will view all tips received 24/7 and evaluate each one. If the tip is of an emergency nature, personnel will forward it immediately to the Department of Emergency Management for officer dispatch. They will forward all other tips for assignment to the appropriate investigative bureau or district station. Investigative units will have an Internet-capable computer at their disposal and will be able to text back and forth with the tipster based on a randomly assigned ID number that the system, provided by Citizen Observer, Inc., supplies. The ID number is wholly confidential and is maintained in the company⬠"!s server.

Unless the tipster wishes to supply personal information, all the tips remain anonymous. The Department's telephone Confidential Tip Line, 415-575-4444, remains in place as an alternative way for citizens to report criminal activity or to provide information regarding a criminal investigation.

For more information, please contact:

Public Affairs Office


Text-a-Tip Set Up Instructions:

Non-BlackBerry Cellular Telephones

Dial 847411, then STORE

Select MOBILE phone contact, then SELECT. The screen will appear to attach a name to the stored number.


The mobile number 847-411 should be attached, then OKAY.

DONE to save. Now that is stored, select TIP411 as the address.


NEW TEXT -Select. The message board will appear. Type SFPD and leave a space.

Type your MESSAGE and SEND. You will receive a reply message within seconds.

BlackBerry Cellular Telephones

Procedure is similar as above. You will first need to add TIP411 to your mobile contact list.

Select TIP411 and ENTER. The cursor will be in blue on #8 (847411).

Click the ball and select SMS TEXT TIP411.

Type SFPD and leave a space. SEND.You will receive a response within seconds.

850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103
Tel (415) 553-1651 / Fax (415) 553-9229
[email protected]