The Palo Alto Police Department has launched a new anonymous tip service that lets people share information by text and email.
Sunnyvale and Santa Clara University police already have the service.
Police say the service, called TipNow, encrypts a sender's cell number or e-mail address and removes any identifying information, so they don't even know who is sending it.
Tips can be e-mailed or texted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police were quick to say that the service is not intended to replace 911 in emergency situations.
They are asking residents to pass along tips or information that relate to cases police are investigating.
Authorities hope that the TipNow service appeals to younger, tech-savvy residents. Law enforcement agencies in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara are also using the TipNow system.