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Fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” often point to the episode “Citizens Arrest” as a favorite. Residents may not be making a citizen’s arrest with a new Kentucky State Police initiative, but they can help curb crime.
A new text-tip line will allow the public to send confidential tips via cellphones.
Here’s how it works: A cellphone user with the ability to text can dial 67283, then type KSPTIP in the message field, then leave a space before entering information about a crime or a suspect.
And it all will remain anonymous, officials say. A KSP spokesman said information from a text message goes through a third-party server, where it is encrypted and personal information removed.
Officials understand it is not always easy to report a crime, especially if it may be regarding a neighbor, friend or family member. But each of us bears the responsibility of keeping our streets and neighborhoods safe in this difficult and sometimes overwhelming fight against crime and drugs.
Being a good citizen is all about stepping forward to alert police to possible crime.
This is just the latest method area police have implemented in using modern communications to combat crime. Local agencies, such as the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and Carrollton Police Department ,accept anonymous tips through their respective websites, CarrollCountyKySheriff.com or CarrolltonPD.net
Each agency has a page in which web users can provide as much detail as possible to assist with an investigation. Both the sheriff’s office and CPD ask for the type of activity, the location — specific address, description of residence and/or vehicle — along with details of the activity being reported.
Officials also request information on those involved with the activity, including their names, ages, dates of birth, physical descriptions and any aliases they might use. “The more complete and specific the information, the more helpful the tip,” both agency websites say.
Local residents have another avenue to report anything involving illegal drugs in the county.
Champions for a Drug Free Carroll County offers free postcards that can be mailed in to officials to report drug activity. The cards are available at many local offices arounds the county, including those that serve the county, city and schools. These go to a specific mailbox with limited access, to help maintain a tipster’s anonymity.
While KSP hopes the text-tip line is a useful tool in solving and identifying crimes, officials caution that in an emergency, dialing 911 is still the most effective and immediate way to go.
Though KSP’s text-tip line is new, law enforcement agencies in the county frequently use tips from the public, whether from a phone line, email or social networking site.
While police are paid to protect and serve, the responsibility of safety rests on all of our shoulders. The text-tip line is just another way of making that happen.
Some information in this editorial was contributed by The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown, Ky.