High-tech crime spotters can now text tips regarding crimes to the Lexington Police Department through Text-a-Tip, a tool for citizens to anonymously submit crime-related information. Anyone with information about a suspect or an incident can text LEXPD in the body of the message, followed by the tip, and send it to CRIMES (274637).
Chief Mark Barnard said the service is a way for citizens to help prevent and solve crimes. Members of SWAG —Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence — advocated for the program.
Citizens may report information about any illegal activity, such as unsolved cases, theft, vandalism, the sale and distribution of drugs, or information about crimes that are being planned in the community or in schools. Text-a-Tip can accept video or picture files with the message.
The service works the same way as the anonymous tip phone line (859-253-2020) and website managed by the non-profit Bluegrass Crime Stoppers. Tipsters who text information that leads to an arrest could receive a reward up to $1,000.
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When people submit a tip, they are sent a random system-generated code or “alias.” The alias allows the tipster to carry on an anonymous conversation with investigators without speaking directly to an officer. Neither the police department nor Bluegrass Crime Stoppers can find out the identity of the tipster unless the person chooses to reveal it.
The Text-a-Tip service is free and requires no purchase or download to participate; however, standard messaging rates and other fees may apply.