Schools Increase Safety With Text Message Crime Tips
Omnilert, maker of e2Campus, the leading unified emergency notification system for education, announced a new crime fighting tool called "uTip" that enables members of the community to send in crime tips via SMS text messages. The service instantly delivers anonymous tips to campus security or police officers' mobile phones and email. Southeastern Illinois College was the first to sign up for the new service.
"We were looking for alternative ways to connect with our students, and for them to connect with us," said Dr. Sarah Bond, Executive Dean of Student Affairs at Southeastern Illinois College. "It has become quite evident that many of today's students are glued to their cell phones when not in class, so uTip seems like a great fit. If a student witnesses a suspicious activity or is in trouble but can't call, we want them to be able to contact us and texting provides an additional option."
The new uTip service allows anyone in the community to communicate directly with school representatives simply by sending an SMS text message from their standard cell phone. Tipsters do not need to be registered with the e2Campus emergency notification system for uTip to work, so anyone in the surrounding neighborhoods or town can text a tip using the service. Schools can setup the service for either anonymous alerts or auditable alerts. Each school can choose which version of the service best meets their policy guidelines.
The school's community can use the service to report suspicious activities that they see on campus, such as theft or vandalism. Communication can be configured to be anonymous, allowing uTipsters to send in tips without the fear or risk of retribution. uTip can also be used to help prevent crimes on campus by reporting incidents before they escalate, and by helping campus safety spot suspicious individuals.