Northwestern DA launches Text-A-Tip - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Northwestern DA launches Text-A-Tip

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NORTHAMPTON, MA (WSHM) -

The Northwestern District Attorney's Office is asking the public to use technology to assist in solving crimes and catching sexual predators. District Attorney David Sullivan announced the launch of the Text-A-Tip for Hampshire and Franklin Counties.

"It's really an added tool for our 47 communities in the Northwestern District," Sullivan said.  "Nothing replaces (investigators) but this is a really great tool for them to have and to get participation from the community."

The Northwestern District received a $475,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help target child sexual predators. Sullivan's office is one of 20 across the country to receive the grant. More than 150 offices applied.

If residents have information they would like to share with police, just text it to "CRIMES" at number 274637. Then type "KIDSAFE" and your tip on possible sexual child predators, abusers, or sex offenders. The information is routed through a company in Canada. Your identity is completely concealed and you receive an alias number. Then a law enforcement officer will message with you about the tip. 

If your tip is not related to child sexual predators, text "CRIMES," again at 274637, then type in "PROTECT" and your information.

""PROTECT" is for all the crimes that are out there from breaking and entering to a car theft to a homicide," Sullivan said.

Investigators said since everyone is texting, they hope Text-A-Tip will be a tremendous help.

"It seems like everyone we deal with might not have their own car or they might not have a their own apartment but they all have their own cell phones and are very tech savvy. We expect to get a lot of responses, yes," said State Police Detective Sergeant Tom Bakey.

"I've really been waiting for it to come to flourish here in Hampshire County, and it's great to see it here now," said Easthampton Police Officer Alan Schadel. "Hopefully it will help us solve a lot of these crimes that are unsolved or have gone unsolved for a long period of time."

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