The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

May 18, 2013

Police department seeking input from citizens on text alert program

Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — The Palestine Police Department is asking for input from citizens regarding the feasibility of introducing a new communication program call Citizen Observer Tip411, an e-mail and text alert system that would allow for outgoing alerts and information to citizens.

The system offers two-way communication of anonymous tip information — via cell phone applications or through the department website to aide in criminal investigations. The package also include a display of crime mapping information.

“We would like to have (citizens) complete an online survey in order to document various communication types used by the public as well as their preference on receiving and giving information to the police department,” PPD Lt. Jeff Powell said. “Once we are able to document public interest, we intend to present our findings to City Manager Mike Ohrt and members of the city council.”

The service would be free for citizens to sign up but would require a paid contract by the police department to implement the program.

“We have already received some favorable responses regarding this technology and this product has been well received by other law enforcement agencies using it in Texas, including: Austin, El Paso, Round Rock, Farmer’s Branch and Coppell.”

The link to the online survey is

“In addition, we are working on adding a link to our Palestine PD web page at under ‘police,’” Powell said. “We’ve also posted this survey link on Facebook and Twitter.”

For more information about the product go to or contact Lt. Powell at 903-731-8471.

Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at