Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, Ron Conlin, president of Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound and Myrle L. Carner, director of Law Enforcement Services - Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound today announced a new option in sending crime tips via anonymous text messaging that would help the Seattle Police Department and other law enforcement agencies solve crimes in the community and continue to make Seattle safer.

A text-a-crime tip billboard located at 4th Avenue S. and S. Walker Street was also unveiled to publicize the campaign.

"I am pleased to announce that this new program will continue to assist the Seattle Police Department in our fight against crime," Kerlikowske said. "Our success in fighting crime has always been partially dependant on information provided by the community. This new option of texting is today's generation's way of communication, including yesterday's generation who are comfortable with phone messaging. The method of two-way communications needs to evolve with the times to further increase our ability in solving crimes in the community."

"I am pleased to announce that Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is the first in the Pacific Northwest to introduce the program," said Conlin. "There are people who have information that could solve major crimes, but either because of fear or apathy do not come forward with what they know, and anonymous texting is one more vital way to let law enforcement know of the crimes you may know while remaining anonymous."

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound, in partnership with the Seattle Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, have solved almost 4,200 felony cases and recovered over $11 million dollars worth of narcotics and stolen property.

With more than 300,000 text messages per minute sent daily nationwide and where most active users are teenagers and young adults, Seattle residents and the public at large who have information about a crime are encouraged to use this new option to text crime tips. Tipsters remain completely anonymous, and may qualify for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers if their information leads to an arrest and filing of charges. Tips are taken 24-hours a day.

The directions to compose a crime tip: 1) Text to "TIP486"; 2) Type your message; 3) Send text to "CRIMES" or "274637." When the text message is received, the sender will receive a pin number within 10 seconds or less confirming receipt of the information. The tipster will always be instructed to call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency and/or crime in progress they are reporting. You may also submit a crime tip anonymously by calling the tipline at 206-343-2020.