Tap a tip to UTPD with new text service

February 17, 2012 | News, UToday
By Kim Goodin

UT has initiated another tool to enhance campus safety with a Text-a-Tip service.

Text-a-Tip allows anyone to funnel non-emergency information to The University of Toledo Police Department dispatchers with a few taps of a cell phone. Users simply should input smart code 69050 and key the following in the text box: UTPD, followed by one space, then the message.

“Campus safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said UTPD Chief Jeff Newton. “Text-a-Tip allows anyone with a cell phone to do his or her part in making UT a safer campus. We’re hoping to get information folks might not otherwise forward through a phone call.”

Once a tip is sent, the user will receive a return message. In situations when non-valid tips are sent repeatedly, the user will be cautioned.

Newton said a few applications of the service could include reporting non-emergent suspicious persons, possible criminal activity and security issues, such as an unsecured building door.

He cautioned that Text-a-Tip is not the best method to summon help during true emergencies.

“During incidents when quick response from officers or emergency medical personnel is needed, it’s still best to call the UTPD,” Newton explained. “The text message is a convenient vehicle for situations that are less urgent.”

UTPD can be reached 24 hours a day at 419.530.2600.

Text-a-Tip is the latest in a series of tools UT has employed with an ongoing focus on safety.

“We’re trying to stay as current as possible with new technologies as they come into play,” Newton said. “Like UT Alert and UTPD on Facebook, this is another avenue for us to connect with our students and the campus community by tapping into the methods they’re using to communicate.”

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