SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Local police departments have embraced Crime Line tips through text messages and online tips.
According to police, Hampton, Newport News and Norfolk will be using the technology by the end of this month and Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Chesapeake departments have already been utilizing web and text tips.
Kelly O'Sullivan with the Chesapeake Police Department says the tips have led to arrests in her city.
"I called over [the tip] to the precinct, some officers hopped on it and sure enough, they saw this description of the vehicle conducted a traffic stop and there was actually heroin [inside]," O'Sullivan said.
Chesapeake has received 50 text tips since March and Portsmouth has received 387 in the past two years.
The tips are completely anonymous; the text is routed through a cloaking server in Canada, encrypted, and then sent to the police.
If a text tip leads to an arrest, the tipper can still remain anonymous, O'Sullivan says.
"We have code words and they go to the bank and just pick up the money," O'Sullivan said.
Tippers can receive anywhere from $75 to $1,000 depending on the tip and the severity of the crime.
A Suffolk house fire displaced a family of seven Wednesday morning.
An Oscar Smith football player was named the 2013-2014 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Wednesday.
A building at Norfolk State University has been evacuated due to a gas leak.