Lileks: In Minneapolis, texting tips on your neighbor just got easier

  • Article by: JAMES LILEKS
  • Star Tribune
  • October 26, 2013 - 7:50 PM

The city of Minneapolis has a new 411 text service that lets you send tips on miscreants in total anonymity. Easy and straightforward.

The news release also notes that there’s an app for your smartphone that you can use to send tips. The app’s page on iTunes has screenshots that show how you report a carjacking on a phone without dialing. Finally! This will work well:

Tipster: I saw a cat jacking on Lindale

Response: please call 311 for Animal Control thank you for using MPD Tip

Tipster: LOL no srsly car jacking the guy had a pistil

Response: okay did you see which way they were going

Tipster: No I was looking down at my screen typing

To be fair, the first thing you see is, “In case of emergency, call 911,” and carjacking would seem to fit that category.

Below that: A link to the Police Department website, where the first two links are “Compliment an Officer or Report Complaints” and “Fireworks Complaint.” If you’re wondering how you can tell a cop “you are looking fine today” and bring up something that happened July 5, you’re at the right spot.

Below that: Minneapolis PD Facebook page. So you can report a crime and LIKE it, I guess. You can follow the Police Department — instead of vice versa, for some people — and who knows what will happen then? A notification that says “The Minneapolis Police Department Shared a Huge Drug Bust With You?” Is there anyone on earth who wants to get an e-mail that says “The Minneapolis police tagged you in a photo”? Can’t say. The link to go to the Facebook page doesn’t work, no matter how many times I poked it.

And below that, the reason you’re using the app: NEW TIP. Now we’re getting somewhere. It looks like an e-mail and has a camera icon so you can attach a picture. In a stunning oversight, though, there are no filter options.

What if you want to make that carjacking look like something from a gritty ’70s movie? You have to quit the app, open an image-editing program, apply the filters, reopen the app and so on. I mean really …

We won’t even get into how you can’t share the carjacking on Pinterest. • 612-673-7858

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