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Police ask teens to join crime fight

Texting offers young tipsters a trusted method and anonymity
Police officials believe they have an untapped world of anonymous sources at their fingertips — and now they are trying to reach out.

Houston and Baytown are among the first area police agencies to test a Crime Stoppers program that allows tipsters to anonymously text information. The program targets teenagers, a key demographic that traditionally has been shy of providing tips to police.

According to the latest Pew Research Center survey, texting has already surpassed face-to-face contact, e-mail, instant messaging and voice calling as the primary mode of communication for teens. Two-thirds of the teens surveyed said they were more likely to use their cell phones to text their friends rather than talk to them.

The survey found that more than a third of teens are sending at least 100 texts a day.

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