Text Messaging to report crime

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utlchris

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Maybe a little off the topic but does anyone know of any metro agencies that are accepting text messaging to report a crime or report tip information. We have heard that Denver is accepting text messaging for tip info. Have not been able to confirm or deny that. Believe it or not it's probably not too far around the corner.
 

captaincraig44

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Maybe I'm getting old or something, but if you have a cellphone, why not just dial the number and TALK to someone. It's going to be more accurate, thorough and probably more credible.
 

scanlist

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I could see potential for abuse of this type of reporting raising its ugly head very quickly. Especially from prepaid cell phones.
 

Scan-Denver

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Maybe I'm getting old or something, but if you have a cellphone, why not just dial the number and TALK to someone. It's going to be more accurate, thorough and probably more credible.
I can see where text messaging a crime being committed would help especially if you happen to be in the same room or within range of being heard talking on a phone. Keeping your head down low or just enough to look inconspicuous and still see the suspect(s) and be able to text message his/her description - of course, just my opinion.
 

Scan-Denver

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Another thought on this, when all the lines are busy and you are stuck on hold to report a crime - text messaging it goes through right away and hopefully this gets sent directly to the dispatcher instead of being filtered by a call taker like phone reporting is now.
 

utlchris

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Has it's good along with it's bad. Probably not much different that disconnected cell phones or the Domestic Violence cell phones they hand out. People can call 911 with them but we have no idea really where they are calling from and more importantly no way to call them back.

Did a search on Text Message Crime and found this.....
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,375486,00.html

Just look at Emily Keys with the "I Love U Guys" text she sent home.
 

Troop

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yeah it sounds good but after working in a comm center...I can tell you that it would take way too long playing text back and forth to answer all the questions I would probably have
 

utlchris

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I'm with you Troop! Work in one now and currently have 4 keyboards in front of me for various PC's. Really don't want another one or have to text either but looking into the next generation phone system it will be available on it. Guess us old timers will get used to text messaging one way or the other.
 

Yucca-man

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I think it was QWest - one of the phone services offers a "text to speech" feature that reads out text messages to landline recipients. It doesn't sound any different than TTY/TDD speech readers, but as touched on earlier there is no way to query more information quickly.
yeah it sounds good but after working in a comm center...I can tell you that it would take way too long playing text back and forth to answer all the questions I would probably have
I took a "txt 2 speech" call the other day, and the typist only put the address down as "3456" without a street name. While that's common especially with people who live in apartments (Palomino Park, etc), I can at least ask for a street name immediately when we're on the phone.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any metro agencies that currently have the capability to txt back to anyone. There have been equipment upgrades recently that are supposed to let us receive text, but no interface that lets us reply....yet.

Has it's good along with it's bad. Probably not much different that disconnected cell phones or the Domestic Violence cell phones they hand out. People can call 911 with them but we have no idea really where they are calling from and more importantly no way to call them back.
I think that's one of the most frustrating parts of the "CSI Syndrome" many people are afflicted with. They think we can automagically see exactly where they are, down to being able to see them in realtime. Either that, or Mom and Dad give the old phone to Junior, who uses it to prank call 911 once he realizes we can't pinpoint his location.


I'm with you Troop! Work in one now and currently have 4 keyboards in front of me for various PC's. Really don't want another one or have to text either but looking into the next generation phone system it will be available on it. Guess us old timers will get used to text messaging one way or the other.
I doubt we'll add another keyboard, but it's going to be just one more program running in the background. It's not much different than a TTY call, but the response time certainly won't be very quick.

Another thought on this, when all the lines are busy and you are stuck on hold to report a crime - text messaging it goes through right away and hopefully this gets sent directly to the dispatcher instead of being filtered by a call taker like phone reporting is now.
If all lines are tied up because everyone with a cellphone is calling to report the accident, the calltakers already have their hands full with incoming calls. Adding another method of input (text instead of phone) is simply one more way to keep our hands full. The radio dispatcher most likely has their hands full as well if the call volume is so high that the phones busy out, so I wouldn't think that's a great destination either. The way you consider call-taking as "filtering" makes it sound as though you think it's a bad thing. That makes me think you've never worked in a Comm Center - "filtering" is necessary to drill down to pertinent information in a timely manner.


Jim
 
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