The Tallahassee Police Department is working to get more engagement from community members by offering the chance to leave anonymous tips via text.
Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo says following a crime officers often have a difficult time getting much information from community members.
“That’s the scary future that we have right now and the current predicament that we’re in. We’ll have a shooting with a hundred people around and nobody saw anything,” DeLeo said.
DeLeo says people are worried if they work with the police, they’ll be labeled a snitch. But the department is working with Crime Stoppers to create another avenue witnesses could use to reach out—tips via anonymous text messages.
“Obviously as technology changes and our future generations are coming up, they’re less likely to call somebody than they are to send a text,” DeLeo says.
DeLeo says young black men, between the ages of 18 and 24 are the primary victims and suspects in crimes involving fire arms in Tallahassee. He’s hopeful offering a text option for Crime Stoppers tips might encourage more people in that age range to reach out. The city is also launching what DeLeo calls a “disconnected youth” initiative. It’s aimed at young people who aren’t in school and also aren’t working. DeLeo says that includes about 7,000 people in Tallahassee. The goal is prevent crime by connecting those youth with education or work.