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Philadelphia Police Using Twitter To Generate Crime Tips

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By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a new online campaign.

Philadelphia Police are using twitter to generate tips on crime.

And they’re using a special hashtag.

A 16-year-old Overbrook High School student is shot in the leg walking to school Friday morning. It happened at 61st and Callowhill and leads on a suspect are scarce.

“All we have is an African-American male appears to be between 17 and 18-years-of-age wearing dark clothing last seen in that area,” Lt. John Walker of Philadelphia Police said.

So often Philadelphia Police are left with vague descriptions and few leads on crimes.  That’s why the police social media department is expanding its outreach on Twitter, now allowing potential witnesses to tweet tips. It’s as simple as using #JustATip.

“The whole idea of this hashtag is hopefully to get people to want to participate in providing us with tips, tips on crimes. We also let people know there’s a reward that’s on the table in the amount of $20,000 for each and every homicide that takes place in the city,” Lt. John Stanford of Philadelphia Police said.

Police hoping #JustATip will provide another outlet to finding out crucial information in unsolved cases.

“Just last year alone, we’ve had about 3,700 tips overall that come through our real-time crime center,” Lt. Stanford said.

For now this latest shooting in West Philadelphia remains unsolved, but a break in the case could be just a tip away.

“These cases are like puzzles. You put them together piece by piece and every little piece of information helps us,” Lt. Walker said.

“Submit some information, submit a tip and follow the hashtag #JustATip and send us that information,” Lt. Stanford said.

Philadelphia Police say if you are concerned about revealing your identity by tweeting information about cases, you can always give them information and tips via their website at phillypolice.com or you can text a tip to PPD TIP or 773847.

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