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AT&T Joins Silent Observer In “Text A Tip” Program Using Text Messaging Technology to Help Solve Crimes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - September 10, 2009-AT&T* announced today that it has joined with Silent Observer of Kent County to help west Michigan residents report crime tips via text message on their mobile device.

Text Box: How to use “Text a Tip”  •	Text “Tip138” plus your tip to CRIMES (274637)  •	You’ll receive an automatic text message reply which will contain your confidential ID number  •	Silent Observer can then send texts back to your phone without knowing your number to ask questions or gather more information

  • For years, Silent Observer has been collecting crime tips – anonymously over the telephone - from residents leading to the arrests of thousands of individuals.  For the past year, tipsters have had the ability to use text messaging technology via their wireless devices to send crime information into Silent Observer which has lead to more accurate information in a faster time period while still allowing tipsters to remain anonymous.

AT&T’s $1,500 contribution will help support the “Text A Tip” program over the course of the next year.

“We are thrilled to have AT&T as a partner and be able to use text message technology to help us retrieve crime information more quickly and be able to assist law enforcement in solving more crimes,” said Chris Cameron, executive director of Silent Observer.  “Use of text messaging and wireless devices in general have grown so much over the years that we felt it was necessary for us to allow residents to send us tips.”

To help raise awareness of the program and how residents in the area can contact Silent Observer, AT&T will have flyers located at each of the its six Kent County retail store locations.  The program will also be highlighted in the December 2009 Kent County issue of the AT&T Real Yellow Pages.

“The capability and usage of wireless devices continues to grow exponentially and the uses of that technology are limited only by our imagination,” said James A. Murray, president of AT&T Michigan.  “As a corporate citizen of not only Michigan, but also the communities we serve, we feel it is our responsibility to support efforts in those communities, like “Text A Tip,” to make them better places to live work and play.”

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T ŽDIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T’s Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at

© 2009 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. 3G service not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Note: This AT&T news release and other announcements are available as part of an RSS feed at For more information and detailed disclaimer information, please review this announcement in the AT&T newsroom at  


Local PSA's Produced to Solve Crime

June 25, 2009
Silent Observer is launching a series of public service announcements today with the anticipation that they will help police solve some of Grand Rapids’ unsolved homicides.  The public service announcements feature members of our community who have lost loved ones to homicide.  They are powerful images with a powerful message.  Crime not only devastates the victim, it also devastates the entire family.

Finding justice is very important to victims of crime.  These videos will hopefully motivate those with information to share it anonymously with Silent Observer. 

Read the entire Press Release (29kb PDF file)


Harvey Automotive Donates Hummer For Silent Observer's Use

The Silent Observer Program is very excited that Harvey Automotive Group has donated a Hummer H3 for their use. This H3 Hummer will be taken by Silent Observer Council Members to a variety of parades, festivals, school sporting events and other community events to promote Silent Observer’s anonymous tip line and the reporting of crime by residents.

Hummer provided by Harvey Automotive

This kind of exposure is important to the Silent Observer Program as it allows residents to ask questions about Silent Observer and its many programs such as Fast 50 and the multi-language tip-line. Silent Observer hopes that people will become more familiar with the program and will feel comfortable using it when and if needed.

“Because Silent Observer is so important to this community, Harvey Automotive wanted to be part of this campaign to increase awareness of Silent Observer’s valuable role”, said Eldon Grosvenor, General Manager of Harvey Automotive Group. “Harvey Hummer has donated the use of one of the most attention-getting vehicles in the works, the new Hummer H3, to be an exciting part of this awareness campaign.”

If residents would like Silent Observer staff and the Hummer to attend an event, please call 454-9110.


Silent Observer Joins Anti-Gun Violence Initiative

Project Safe Neighborhoods Poster

To help combat gun violence in Kent County, Silent Observer has teamed up with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan and Grand Rapids Police Department to help facilitate communication between the community and law enforcement. Silent Observer has offered to promote their tip-line at 774-2345 to those who would like a safe and anonymous way of reporting felons in possession of firearms and illegal guns. It makes sense for those in the community who are fearful of reprisals but feel obligated to help keep their neighborhoods violence-free to call Silent Observer. And if their tip leads to the arrest of an individual, they may receive a reward.

This initiative is called Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), and although it is not new to this area, the promotion of it and giving concerned citizens a phone number to actually call is new. PSN is a national program initiated by the federal government to prosecute repeat violent offenders who possess guns.


Translation Service Available to Silent Observer Callers

The Silent Observer Program can accept calls from non-English speaking residents wanting to report crime anonymously.

Silent Observer has secured Language Line services to provide the over the phone interpretation from English into as many as 140 languages. As with the Silent Observer tip line, the translation service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When calling Silent Observer at 774-2345, non-English speaking people will be asked to hold for just a few moments so a three-way call can be set up with the Language Line. The Silent Observer can then give their important information regarding a felony crime. That information will be relayed back to the Silent Observer Program in English and passed on to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

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Silent Observer dedicated this beautiful bench during the Candlelight Vigil on the National Day of Remembrance & Hope for ALL victims of crime.

granite bench dedicated to victms of crime

This bench, which sits at the Kent County Courthouse, is in remembrance of all those who have lost a loved one to crime or have experienced crime in their lives.


Rock The Mic on June 24, 2012

The 2012 Rock the Mic winners were: Annie Wildgen, Steven Truth Malcolm & Kaee Skwair

You can hear their songs and other top 10 finalists here!


Thanks to Harvey Automotive Group for the use of this beautiful Cadillac Escalade!

Escalade donated by Harvey Automotive Group

Harvey Automotive Group