City advertises anomymous police tip line

Sean Philip Cotter
  • Text "yorktips" and the tip to 847411.
  • All tips remain anonymous.

York City Police hope if you see something, you'll say something — or at least text about it.

Mayor C Kim Bracey announces new posters and billboards donated by Lamar Advertising to promote the use of TIP 411, an anonymous tip line, Thursday  March 3 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

The city has entered into a partnership with Lamar Advertising and Rabbit Transit to get some publicity for its anonymous tip line, officials announced in a news conference Thursday.

"We must rid our communities of 'no snitching,'" York Mayor Kim Bracey said. "Help us fight crime in the city."

To do this, people can text "yorktips" and then the text of the tip itself to 847411. The tip goes to the phones of the chief and captains as well as the detective bureau, said York City Police Chief Wes Kahley. Yorkers doing so will remain anonymous unless they choose to come forward. Kahley said they've asked people to do that, but no one submitting tips has done so, and the cops won't push the issue.

"We always like people to come forward and testify, but we understand that sometimes people aren't in the position to do that," Kahley said. "And that's where our anonymous text line really comes into play."

He said it can point them in the right direction, and corroborate information they're currently investigating.

Lamar Advertising donated a dozen 10-foot-by-22-foot billboards, with poster-type advertisements on four bus shelters around town, according to account manager Mark Grab. And Rabbit Transit buses have similar advertisements along the side, said president Rich Farr.

The officials spoke in front of one such bus, pulled up in front of city hall in the 100 block of South George St. with "Help fight crime — submit anonymous tips" in big white letters on its side, along with an image of a phone featuring the instructions on how to do so.

The anonymous tip line has been around for a few years, Kahley said, and it's provided some useful information. The chief recalls one time when he was off duty, just hanging out watching a Philadelphia Eagles game, when he got some anonymous text tips.

"Someone was texting about someone they saw with a weapon," Kahley said.

So he passed the info onto on-duty patrol officers, who tracked the man down and arrested him.

"They were able to chase that individual down, take that weapon off the street, take some drugs off the street and make a great arrest," he said.

— Reach Sean Cotter