TPWD News Release — Sept. 25, 2012
AUSTIN – Just in time for fall hunting season, the Operation Game Thief wildlife crimestoppers program has a new tool expected to increase the number of tips received as well as game law violation convictions.
Effective immediately, in addition to calling the OGT 24-hour tip hotline at 800-792-4263 (GAME), anyone wishing to report a possible game law violation will be able to provide information via texting that could still qualify for a possible cash reward.
Called Tip411, the new program will give the public the option to text information directly to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department communication operators.
This is how the new system works:
All standard text message charges still apply.
OGT will be keeping records and monitoring how well this new technology works for improving public reporting.
The new application has been tested with several different devices, including iPhones, Blackberries, and regular cell phones with texting capabilities and is now up and running.
OGT averages 1,500 calls a year, many resulting in the filing of game law violation cases and some of them leading to arrests for felony crimes. This new technology is expected to increase the number of citizen calls received.
Begun in 1981 as a result of laws passed by the 67th Legislature to help curtail poaching, the OGT program offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction for a wildlife crime. OGT is a function of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Law Enforcement division and has been responsible for the payment of over $200,000 in rewards and the assessment of well over $1 million in assessed fines.
Privately funded, the program is dependent on financial support from the public through the purchase of OGT merchandise and memberships, donations, sponsorships, and gifts. The program also hosts annual fundraising events, including the Permain Basin Claystoppers Shootout set for Oct. 5 at Jake’s Clays in Midland and the Clay Stoppers Shootout on Oct. 12 at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio.
For more information on OGT and these upcoming events, visit the program’s website at www.ogttx.com