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Police see early success with tip-texting tool | Crime

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Police see early success with tip-texting tool
Crime, News
Police see early success with tip-texting tool

Middleton police have already had success in September using a new tip-texting option.

Through a partnership between police and a company called Zipwhip, people in Middleton can call or text the department at the same number they’ve been accustomed to using: 608-824-7300.

Police said two recent incidents proved the utility of the technology. In September, police were looking for the public’s help in connection with a hit-and-run incident.

After posting a request on the Middleton police Facebook page with the number and option to text officers, the department received four text messages over its new texting service with information that led to an arrest in the hit-and-run.

In another case, officers were called to check on a person who was reportedly suicidal and potentially armed with a weapon. The individual did not initially answer the door when police knocked and called, but a dispatcher was able to text the occupant saying it was police at the door and officers wanted to make sure the person was safe. The person answered the door within seconds and was taken into protective custody to get help.

In addition to its recent successful uses, the text service also fills a critical need by enabling better access to non-emergency services for citizens who are speech or hearing impaired, police said.

The police department said it was social media manager Keith Cleasby's idea to offer residents the option to communicate with police through texts.

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