Send a text and help solve a crime.
Thursday, the Eau Claire Police Department launched a new program designed to bring in more tips.
“The north side has had some burglaries we've worked on,” says Eau Claire Police officer Jesse Henning.
Officers like Henning patrolling their beats know it doesn't take much to lead to a huge break in a case.
“One little tip, an anonymous citizen tip, can snowball into a huge case—drug related, anything. It can snowball into something huge,” Henning says.
That’s why the department says you can now text in your tips. They're always 100 percent anonymous and powered through a St. Paul company that removes all identifying info before the police department sees the message.
“With the tipster line that we had before and we still have now it was always a voice recording and a lot of people felt it wasn't quite anonymous with people recognizing their voice. We're hoping that this will encourage people in the community to give us those types of tips,” says Eau Claire Police Lt. Chad Hoyord.
Here's how it works: You send your text to the number TIP411. Then you type in ECPD, a space and your tip. Hit send and you'll automatically get a reply from the department. Detectives might also text you back for more info, but it’s a conversation you can stop at anytime by texting "STOP.”
“Our goal is to try and get as many people in the community involved as we can. We can't solve all the crimes by ourselves,” Hoyord says.
Lt. Hoyord says even if you just have a weird feeling about something, a strange car in the neighborhood, something doesn't seem right, send a text. You never know when it will help and it certainly can't hurt.
“I live in this community too and I’d like to see it as a safe a community as it is now,” Henning says.
Tip411 isn't monitored every minute of the day so you still need to call 911 for emergencies.
You can also send anonymous tips to the police department online. CLICK HERE for a link to the Eau Claire Police Department's anonymous tip web site.