A new program is being launched in Benton County that allows residents and law enforcement to partner together in protecting our communities. Through the combined efforts of the Benton County Above The Influence Coalition and Benton County Sheriff’s Department, this new program called Text 2 Protect has officially been launched and is ready for use.
Text 2 Protect enables the public to send anonymous tips through text messages to law enforcement to report unlawful activity that is taking place within our community. This system also provides law enforcement the ability to respond back through text, creating a two way anonymous “chat”. Through Text 2 Protect, citizens of Benton County are able to take an active role in keeping neighborhoods safer by assisting law enforcement in their ability to respond, serve and protect by using technology.
Text 2 Protect is not a replacement for 9-1-1. If you need help, witness a crime, or you are in danger or in an emergency situation, please call 9-1-1 immediately. Helpful tips through Text 2 Protect would include information about people wanted on warrants, drug activity, suspicious activity, cold cases, or any type of criminal activity.
To send an anonymous tip via text message to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, simply text the keyword (which must be included in all messages) BENTON and your message to 274637 (CRIMES). The keyword of BENTON is necessary for the system to know which community the tip needs to be routed. Your message will then be routed anonymously to the Benton County Sheriff dispatch. At that time dispatch can respond back with follow-up questions to the person providing the tip, who still remains anonymous if a follow-up dialog is created. Once adequate information is received to respond, dispatch is then able to partner with additional law enforcement departments in our county to make the appropriate response to each tip provided.
For more information on how to use Text To Protect, see our YouTube Video