Bay City News (their report is pasted below for those of you who haven’t heard about this) is reporting on SFPD’s announcement on how to use SFPD’s new anonymous text-a-tip program.

Here’s what the SFPD site says on how to use this:

To report information, the tipster enters either TIP411or 847411 in the “To” field and the keyword SFPD in the text field, followed by the message.

They say they’ll be providing “complete instructions” later today, perhaps for those sorry few still confused by how to text message? We’ll update if there’s anything else you need to know.

9:49 AM (BCN): The San Francisco Police Department introduced a new cell phone texting service this week to report crime tips.

The Text-A-Tip program is a 24-hour service, and each text message will be viewed individually by police operations staff and forwarded to the appropriate investigations bureau or district station. Emergency texts will be forwarded to the dispatch center.
The service will allow investigators to text back and forth with tipsters, who will be assigned a confidential ID number by the third-party company that runs the service, Minneapolis-based Citizen Observer Inc., according to police.

All tips will remain anonymous unless the texter wishes to provide personal information.
The effort is part of the department’s renewed focus on implementing technological reforms.

Though this particular program has, according to police spokeswoman Sgt. Lyn Tomioka, been in the works for months, new Chief George Gascon’s has also stated that technological upgrades to the department is one of his goals. Gascon did implement the Text-A-Tip program at his previous job as police chief in Mesa, Ariz.

Complete instructions on how to send a tip-by-text message will be posted on the Police Department’s Web site,, today, according to Tomioka.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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