A new crime-reporting system, “Bulldogs Text Tip,” is available for anyone in the Ferris community to report a crime via text message.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) at Ferris decided to look more into conduct crime reporting, said Tricia Walding-Smith, assistant management coordinator of DPS.
Staff, students, faculty, visitors or anyone around campus who witnesses a crime can now report it to DPS via text message. The the text should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walding-Smith thinks it will be a method that people might feel more apt to use because it is different from being on the phone with everyone hearing what you are saying.
“You can easily pick up your cell phone and people think you’re texting a funny message to a friend, but you’re submitting crime information,” said Walding-Smith.
She said this is meant to be more of a crime reporting line for those whoh want to keep their identity confidential or not come to the police station.
“The program is not meant as an emergency line…if you encounter an actual emergency, please call 911,” said Walding-Smith.
Ferris Police Chief Marty Bledsoe came up with the idea of Bulldogs Text Tip. Bledsoe said reporting a crime via text message may be easier when it comes to witnessing behaviors of concern.
“One of the difficulties in sharing information about the crime is they ask themselves if it’s worth it or not,” said Bledsoe.
Instead of making a phone call, they can just quickly report the incident via text message without feeling like they’re wasting time, he added.
Bledsoe explained that reporting descriptions of a person or object involved in a crime would be helpful as well.
“Just little tidbits can narrow it down,” said Bledsoe. “You can give descriptions with unique information.”
Ferris students have different views on the Bulldogs Text Tip system.
Amy Swain, senior in restaurant and food industry management, said, “I think students would be more likely to report a crime via text message because it’s easier and wouldn’t take much time out of their day.”
Other students said they would not use the system.
“I don’t think I would. I won’t take the time to do the whole text and hope I did it right,” said Kyle Walch, a freshman in the HVAC program.
Walch also said, “I would rather call them and talk to them in person, then I know I got through. I think it’s just easier to call.”
“Not only is this a tool for reporting crime, it’s also a way for people to get involved in their community and create a safer environment,” said Walding-Smith. n