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Updated 10:00 AM October 26, 2009
 

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DPS unveils text messaging to report a crime on campus

Faulty, staff and students can send a text message to the Department of Public Safety to report a crime in progress, DPS announced last week.

"We're pleased to be able to utilize newer technology methods that will make reporting crime easier, especially for our students," says Ken Magee, DPS executive director. "Hopefully we can receive more reports of crimes in progress which increases our chances apprehension. Ultimately we hope crime will be reduced."

The preferred method to report a crime to DPS continues to be a telephone call: 734-763-1131. But on occasions when people on campus are unable to make a call, they can send a text message. It is not intended to be used to report an incident that occurred the previous day or week.

"Since the text messages need to be short, we're hopeful our community members only will use the system for crimes or emergencies in progress," Magee says. "Calling our DPS Communications Center still is the preferred method to report anything, especially a lost or stolen belonging or to ask about one of our services."

Text messages to DPS should indicate the type of crime being reported, the time and location of the incident, and any information about potential suspects. Text messages regarding a medical or other kind of emergency should include the type of emergency and the specific location, so the communications officer knows which emergency responders to send to an exact location. Standard text messaging rates will apply.

The addition of inbound text messaging was the result of a suggestion to DPS. "Last year, Timothy Bekkers, an undergraduate student, made the suggestion to me while I was addressing the Michigan Student Assembly that we should provide text messaging capability for people attending football games to report disorderly people or other problems in the stands," Magee says. "I'm pleased that his suggestion has become a reality and I credit the student body for working with the police."

Send a text message to 377911, or DPS911 on a traditional cellphone keypad, to reach the university police.

More information about reporting crime can be found on the DPS Web site at www.police.umich.edu.

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