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Evanston Police Expand Test-A-Tip ProgramThe Evanston Police Department in 2011 initiated a new program called Text-A-Tip to assist in clearing unsolved crimes and providing another form of non-emergency communication with the police department. 

Now this program has been expanded to receive anonymous tips on individuals illegally carrying firearms. If the tip is successful in recovering a firearm and police are able to make an arrest, the tipster will receive a cash reward and still remain anonymous. 

Here is how the Text-A-Tip for illegal guns works. While utilizing the text messaging function on your cellular phone, type in “274637” (which spells out the word “CRIMES”) in the phone number line. Then to start your message, type “EPDTIP” in the message line and enter “GUN TIP” with as much information as possible and press the send key. This is very similar as the current text-a-tip program except the tipster will advise it’s a gun tip while providing information.  

Tipsters will still automatically receive a response text providing a code which replaces the tipster’s phone number and becomes the tipster’s “alias”. This allows for tipsters to remain anonymous and if police need more information regarding the tip that was text, police dispatchers may send a text to the anonymous tipster’s alias requesting more information. The alias code provided allows police to have the tipster remain anonymous and if the tip becomes successful with a gun recovery and arrest, this code will allow for the $100.00 reward. Detectives will contact the tipster via text once an arrest is made to arrange for payment and to protect the anonymity of the tipster. 

Tipsters should know that an independent third party provider initially receives the texts and does not provide any identifying information from the tipster to the police department. Only the alias code is provided to allow back and forth communication via texting if desired by the tipster and police. The tipster can cancel any two-way texting with the police department by texting the word “STOP” to 274637 (CRIMES). This will block any further communication. No identifying information is retained or given to the police department, however to allow for payment on a successful tip it will be necessary to for the tipster to not text the word stop.  

The TEXT-A-TIP program for this illegal gun possession enforcement program by police is operational 24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week and is received and monitored by our Emergency Communications Center at the Evanston Police Department. The Evanston Police Department openly solicits information from citizens on any type of crime occurring within Evanston not just this newly adopted program aimed at firearms being illegally carried on the city streets of Evanston.   

Individuals that illegally carry firearms have a much higher probability of using those firearms against persons in crimes of violence that include, robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, unlawful discharge of a firearm and murder. 

Citizens are still reminded to call “911” if the crime is an emergency, such as a person in the process of using a firearm against another. Citizens can still remain anonymous when calling and speaking with a “911” Operator. 

More information regarding TEXT-A-TIP is available on the City of Evanston Website at www.cityofevanston.org/police/textatip. Additionally, tips to police can also be sent at the following web address: www.tipsubmit.com/Webtips.aspx?AgencyID=931