TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 28 /CNW/ -- Agile Communications Group, the industry
leader in text messaging technology and applications, and the IT firm Anderson
Software, today unveiled a new software program that will provide a highly
effective tool for crime fighters. The program, TipSoft SMS, provides a
comprehensive means for over 1,200 Crime Stoppers programs worldwide to
receive tips anonymously and securely reply to tipsters via their cell phones.
Crime Stoppers, the well-known community action group that helps law
enforcement agencies internationally, is the first to employ this emerging
technology for public safety purposes. Identities of informants are fully
protected, and they are assigned aliases under which to claim any applicable
rewards. Recent deployments of similar technology in Boston and South Africa
have proven the concept can be effective.
Text messaging or Short Message Service (SMS) provides several advantages
over traditional voice calls, especially when calling may not be feasible or
safe. In the U.S. alone, 300,000 text messages are sent every minute of every
day. As the use of SMS continues to grow, the value and variety of its
applications also expand.
Kevin Anderson, owner and CEO of Anderson Software and a longtime
supporter and IT partner of Crime Stoppers from local to international levels,
is committed to utilizing all available methods for obtaining information from
"Due to the enormous popularity of texting messages via cell phone, and
being the industry leader in gathering tips, we felt it was time to develop
and provide a truly secure and anonymous means of easily communicating with
tipsters via text messages," Anderson said.
The senior developer with Anderson Software, Dr. Dan Bruton, notes: "SMS
tips allow citizens to report on a crime in progress without having to say a
word. This anywhere-anytime, silent, anonymous method of reporting is probably
the simplest yet powerful approach to fighting crime we have ever offered."
Anna Gervait, founder and president of Agile Communications, predicts
more citizens will take advantage of this new option to report suspected
"Businesses across all sectors are discovering the valuable applications
of text messaging to increase sales, educate customers, notify employees on
multiple continents of critical news," she said. "TipSoft SMS offers a way for
law enforcement agencies to employ the same technology to save lives."
Technologically, SMS utilizes a much smaller bandwidth, can be
transmitted faster than voice calls, and can be sent even when voice traffic
is jammed or signal strength is too weak for voice calls. They also require
much less battery power, and thus are a better choice for communicating when
the battery is low or the phone is being used in a remote location. All of
these advantages will serve Crime Stoppers tipsters in their quest to assist
law enforcement without endangering themselves.
Related applications for broader use by law enforcement agencies are
currently in development and will be released this fall.
"Agile Communications Group is dedicated to being the leader in creative
and reliable applications for these emerging technologies," Gervait says.
Anderson says the collaboration of SMS tips with Agile's platform fits in
perfectly with his firm's tip management software designed for school systems
and for youth crime prevention through its Student Crime Prevention Resource
"We know this avenue will be utilized by all ages, but it is a real
natural for the younger population who are so familiar with this form of daily
communication," Anderson says.
TipSoft SMS is being welcomed enthusiastically in the Crime Stoppers
Elaine Cloyd, president of Crime Stoppers USA, heralds the development of
state of the art technology as extremely important to Crime Stoppers because
taking truly anonymous tips on a 24/7 basis is the life blood of the program.
She says: "We have worked with Anderson Software for many years, and many
Crime Stoppers programs are using the TipSoft system. We were already excited
about their new WebTip application, which has doubled the tips coming into
many programs, and now look forward with anticipation to this TipSoft SMS
product, especially for student programs."
Ralph Page, chair of the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association, reports:
"We in Canada are delighted to now have the capability to receive tips via SMS
text message. We commend Anderson and Agile for responding in such short order
to our requirement for anonymous tipping. We do know that the younger
generation in particular is very keen to use text messaging. It is our hope
that we can further increase the number of tips coming into Crime Stoppers
programs using this new, safe and secure technology. Now tipsters can submit
tips by telephone, via WebTip, and by text messaging."
Peter Price, chair of Crime Stoppers Australia, adds: "Anonymous and
secure SMS crime reporting will become more important to Crime Stoppers and
police in the future, as the penetration of mobile communications grows at a
pace outstripping landline communications. Further to this, if you see or
hear something you no longer have to wait to report it. This increases the
immediacy of the system and will expectedly reduce the time period for a
course of events to unfold. It may even help stop an offender from re-
Crimestoppers U.K. coordinator and vice-president of Crime Stoppers
International, Detective Sgt. Michael Gordon-Gibson, sums it up: "I see the
anonymous SMS tip capabilities now available to Crime Stoppers as being
crucial to the progression of this global organization, not the least in
trying to encourage teenagers to use Crimes Stoppers to give anonymous
information in safety, as this is a medium they prefer and are using on a
daily basis. In many cases they are the ones with good information on crime
and anti-social behavior. A secure SMS capability also offers all sections of
all communities around the world another secure line of communication to get
valuable criminal intelligence into the law enforcement agencies. In the U.K.
we are looking seriously at this solution and are currently working with CSI's
IT partner, Anderson Software, with a view to making it compatible with our
whole U.K. Crimestoppers operation."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
www.tipsoft.com and www.andersoft.com
Agile Communications Group, LLC
Tampa-based Agile Communications Group is a wireless technology and
service company dedicated to extending communications and marketing
capabilities through mobile phones. With a content gateway that connects
directly to all major US wireless carriers and over 470 carrier networks
worldwide, Agile empowers over 100 applications for mobile marketing,
commerce, business and personal information services through the use of SMS
text messaging. Agile has developed unique combined services including: fast
deployment, platform for high capacity and international campaigns, cross-
carrier short code and permissions management, integrated billing, anti-SPAM
compliance, and selective recipient group management. Client applications have
included: coupons; polls and surveys; expanded viral marketing; opt-in list
subscriptions; metric tracking; enterprise alert and notification systems for
government, corporate, campus, conference or event groups; and emergency alert
systems for government, campus, healthcare, first responders and call centers.
Anderson Software, LLC
Anderson Software, located in Nacogdoches, Texas, develops world class,
unique software and secure web applications designed specifically for the Law
Enforcement, Homeland Security and Emergency Management industries. Their
commercial products are deployed globally and are considered vital assets
within the respective agencies utilizing them. Company founder, Kevin
Anderson, has served on the Crime Stoppers boards in his hometown of
Nacogdoches, the Texas Crime Stoppers Association, Crime Stoppers USA, and is
currently the database administrator and IT Chair for Crime Stoppers
International. Nine years ago, he developed what quickly became the world's
leading tip management software, TipSoft, which continues to set intelligence
acquisition and management standards in the industry. The Anderson Software
product line of class-leading tip management software and online tip
management applications includes: WebTips with Two-Way Dialogue;
Tips4Schools.com; TerrorTips.com; GangBase.com; BankRobberyTips.com;
RxCrimes.com; EvacTrak.com, the complete evacuee and shelter management
application responsible for successfully tracking thousands of evacuees by
name and re-uniting displaced families during hurricanes Katrina and Rita;
SARBOX compliant customized whistleblower and employee online feedback
systems; and Crimestoppersweb.com, a dynamic content management system for
Crime Stoppers websites.
Crime Stoppers International
Since being founded in 1976 by Albuquerque Detective Greg MacAleese,
Crime Stoppers programs around the world have operated as non-profit
organizations designed to combat crime and keep streets safe. They are a
partnership of the local community, the media and law enforcement. Volunteer
boards in over 1,200 Crime Stoppers programs raise funds to support operations
and often to pay rewards to those individuals whose anonymous tips lead to
arrest and indictment of those charged with felonies. To date, Crime Stoppers
have a 95% conviction rate. They have been responsible for over 690,000
arrests, $1.7 billion of property recovered, and $6.5 billion in drugs seized.
For further information:
For further information: Rick Bowen, (305) 794-4006, or Kevin Anderson,
(936) 569-0447, both of Agile Communications Group, Web Site: