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July 15, 2010    

San Francisco Police Department Text-A-Tip Clarification (10-068) 



The San Francisco Police Department implemented Text-a-Tip in August of 2009. 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.


Do not use this program for emergency situations. Dial 911 in case of emergency.


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. They will forward all 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:

Media Relations Office






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