Police today kicked off a “Text-a-Tip” campaign at Evanston Township High School, encouraging students to use their cell phones to report illegal activity or information on crimes occurring in and around the school campus and throughout the city.

This event was coordinated through the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Group. The program lets people anonymously send tips by text message to Evanston Police and the ETHS safety department.

A cell phone user can use the system by sending a text message to 274637, or “CRIMES” on their phone keypad.

Then adding the acronym “EPDTIP” in the message line followed by as much detailed information as possible about the crime.

Police say a third-party service provider handles the information before it reaches police to assure that the teps remain anonymous. It also allows for text conversations to occur between police and the tipster if
necessary, but the tipster’s anonymity always remains intact.

For Evanston Township High School students and faculty using the program to communicate anonymously with high school safety personnel, information can be text to the same number, but the message should start with “ETHS” and then provide the detailed information.

The text message program can be used 24 hours a day but is not intended for emergencies — which should be reported by calling 911. More information about the Text-a-Tip program is available on the city website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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