Poway now has a citywide tip line for residents to report safety concerns. With the goal of helping law enforcement prevent tragedies, Poway ALERT (855-56-ALERT) is accessible 24-hours for residents to call if they are concerned someone they know may be planning an act of violence or may be a danger to themselves or others.
Studies have found that in virtually every mass casualty incident the perpetrator displayed behavioral warning signs prior to their attacks that were noted by family, friends and others, but went unreported.
“If law enforcement had been alerted, lives could have possibly been saved,” said Mayor Vaus. “It is not enough just to remind people, ‘see something, say something.’ Poway ALERT gives them that place to say something – and to do so anonymously if needed – because if warning signs go unreported, tragedy may follow.”
Poway ALERT does not replace 911, which should still be used in the event of an emergency. Messages to the tip line will be immediately forwarded to the Sheriff’s Department and addressed as appropriate. Poway ALERT is modeled after a successful Poway Unified School District tip line that the City of Poway initiated in 2018 to allow students, parents, and community members to make reports related to school safety.
At the June 21, 2022 Poway City Council meeting, the council approved the request by Mayor Steve Vaus to activate the toll-free tip line for a trial period through the end of the year, with an evaluation by the City and Sheriff’s department to determine if it will be continued. The cost through the trial period is estimated at $190.