The new Crime Stoppers program allows the Boston Police Department to engage residents in a voluntary community-wide effort to reduce the number of violent crimes. Mobile users in North America currently send more than 650 million text messages each day, and according to M:Metrics, the most active texters are young adults (ages 18 - 24) with more than 70 percent sending text messages every month.
"The City of Boston is excited to introduce this new and innovative approach to the Boston Police Department's Crime Stoppers program. We are confident that the anonymity of the text function coupled with the sophisticated outreach program will inspire individuals to provide police with helpful, investigative tips," said Boston Police Commissioner, Edward Davis.
VeriSign powers the Boston Crime Stoppers text messaging platform, provisioned the C-R-I-M-E short code, and manages the system's easy-to-use user interface. Despite its back-end complexities, for citizens the system is as simple as texting the word "tip" to C-R-I-M-E (27463).
The information received will be channeled to a police department interface. The VeriSign system masks all personal identifiable information (e.g. mobile phone numbers) before sending any text messaged information to the police department. Through the interface, the Boston Police Department can immediately exchange messages with the tipster to obtain information about the crime and the details necessary to respond rapidly.
"The Boston Police Department has shown extraordinary vision by taking a rapidly growing communications trend and making it work for the benefit of their community," said Oliver Holle, Vice President of Mobile Applications, VeriSign. "Enabling secure communication is one of our core strengths at VeriSign. We are excited to be a part of such an innovative and relevant program, made possible by collaboration with Boston law enforcement and Hill Holliday."
"Hill Holliday was thrilled to work with VeriSign on a critical initiative for the City of Boston and the Boston Police Department," said Thi Linh Wernau, Hill Holliday Mobile Marketing. "We believe that mobile and wireless technology represent untapped potential for communication between various audiences. We hope that this initiative helps the critically important life-saving work of the Boston police."
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