New program provides way to report suspicious activity via text
WASHINGTON – The Amtrak Police Department (APD) is launching a new method for passengers and employees to report suspicious activity, crime, or emergencies by introducing APD11 “Txt-a-Tip,” a program that allows contacting the Amtrak Police Department’s National Communications Center via SMS text messaging.
“Contacting the Amtrak Police Department by text is another tactic in our multi-layered approach to protecting America’s Railroad,” said Amtrak Police Chief Polly Hanson. “Our passengers and frontline employees provide an extra line of defense by being an additional set of eyes and ears while in or around our stations, trains, facilities or right-of-way, and now they can report crime or suspicious activity in a convenient and discreet method, by text message.”
“Txt-a-Tip” will follow similar response procedures that are in place when a report is called into the Amtrak Police 800 number. Passengers can now simply report suspected criminal or suspicious activity by sending a text to APD11 from a smartphone or to 27311 from a standard cell phone. When a text is received, the sender will receive a message acknowledging the report, and will then be connected to a live Amtrak Police Communications Officer who will correspond directly via text message with the person to learn more about the situation and determine the appropriate action.
This initiative is part of a continued effort by Amtrak to provide additional communication options for passengers and employees who are deaf or may have hearing loss, allowing easy and efficient communication of emergency information to the APD.
“People should trust their gut, follow their instincts, and report anything that just doesn’t seem right. It’s our job as the Amtrak Police Department to check out anything that’s reported and the goal of APD11 is to make that even easier for everyone to do,” said Chief Hanson.
Amtrak has explosive detection and vapor wake K-9 teams, trained employees to identify potential security risks, random passenger and baggage screenings, and developed strong partnerships with local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies.
Posters and English and Spanish television public service announcements are available for download here.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.