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News Release (Jan 24 2013) A new text tip system (847-411) was introduced to the Valparaiso Community on August 1, 2010. This new system was designed to provide an opportunity for community members to use their cellular phones to anonymously text crime information to the Valparaiso Police Department. Currently every supervisor and detective receives text information on their cellular phone when a text tip is sent to the department.
When texting 847-411 the key word "Valpo" must be the first word in the message box of the cellular phone before sending the message. Once "Valpo" has been entered into the message field the crime information/tip can then be entered and sent to the department.
This year the department added two new additional ways to report crime information to the police department. Starting in 2012 community members can download a free app for their smart phone or go directly to the department's website and report information to police.
In 2012 the department received 199 anonymous tips. This was an increase of 125 tips from 2011. The majority of the tips received a texted response from a patrol supervisor, 26 of the 199 tips received, reported an incident occurring outside the city limits and those tips were forwarded to a different police agency. A total of 42 arrests (21% of the tips received) were made from the tips received. A total of 9 tips were received regarding incidents within Valparaiso High School. The tips were generated from cellular phone (texting), an iphone/smart phone application or website. The department received 65 text tips from cellular phones and 134 web based or iphone/smart phone tips from the 199 tips.
From the 199 tips; 57 tips were received reporting suspicious activities; 30 reported drug activity tips; 26 were transferred to another police agency; 23 reported crime information; 22 reported a traffic or parking complaint; 18 were miscellaneous tips/questions; 13 reported loud noise complaint; 9 involved an incident at a school and 1 reported child pornography.
Just a reminder to all residents, misusing the TIP411 system could result in criminal charges if false or misleading tips are purposely reported to the police.