SFPD Turns to Texting for Tips

New tool in crimefighting

San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon is tapping into technology to help fight crime.

Gascon will announce the department's latest weapon Text-a-Tip Wednesday. The Internet-based tool will give people a way to text message anonymous information to police.

The service will also give police a way to respond in real time and have anonymous conversations with people who use the texting service.

Police Lt. James Miller told commissioners at a recent meeting that the program will be especially helpful for Muni passengers who want to report a crime without drawing attention to themselves.

Just think, police might have known at the very moment it happened if they had received the text "humping in progress" during a recent rash of disturbing behavior on Muni.

San Francisco's 311 service already uses texting as a way to interact with the public.

Text-a-Tip is currently being used by police in 40 states.

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