New Castle County Police is rolling out an updated version of its text alert system.

Citizens who sign up will be able to receive crime alerts and send anonymous tips to police by either email or text messaging.

"This is an expansion of our current product," said crime analyzer Mike Walsh. "Citizen Observer has evolved and now includes out bound subscription messaging."

With the outbound messages, police can seek the public's help in solving cases and residents can be alerted of crime trends in their communities.

The alerts are able to be targeted by zip codes so that Claymont residents won't receive information solely meant for Middletown, Walsh said.

This week three alerts were sent out to the 200 people who have so far signed up, he said.

Walsh and Police Chief Col. Scott McLaren asked County Council Tuesday to send the link out to their constituents to make more people aware of the community policing social network system.

"We're asking for dialogue with people who want to hear from us," Walsh said.

Anyone who sends tips will have their identity protected and will be given an ID code if they want to follow up with a submitted tip. Walsh said that subscribers will not receive spam mail.

County Police began a partnership with Citizen Observer four years ago to give residents more timely crime alerts.

To sign up to receive crime alerts, visit and follow the link for Tips and Alerts.