Texting can help nab poachers as part of new program
July 20, 2010
Reporting poaching and other fish and wildlife violations to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife just got easier.
The agency has added a new text-messaging option, Tip411, to report activity threatening fish, wildlife and sensitive habitat. The system allows users to send a text message to the agency’s dispatch center.
Tips should be sent to 847411. The message must begin with the letters WDFWTIP followed by a space, and then a brief description of the violation and location. Include useful information, such as license plate numbers, vehicle make and color, the type of violation, the time the incident occurred and a description of the person or people involved.
Deputy Chief Mike Cenci said the system removes the texter’s name and replaces it with an alias before the message arrives at the communications center.
In some cases, the system allows the reporting party and the on-duty wildlife officer to exchange text messages in real time.
The agency contracted Minnesota-based Citizen Observer, a private vendor, to provide the system.