The Hays County Citizen Observer Alert Network was created to facilitate better communication between local law enforcement and the residents of San Marcos and Hays County. From the May 2012 press release: The Citizens Observer program and Tip411 will enable residents to participate in two-way communications with local law enforcement. The programs will allow the police department to update citizens on situations that require their attention and for the public to provide anonymous tips directly to the agencies.
All tips are filtered through the Citizen Observer website to make them anonymous before being sent on to the law enforcement agency. Officers can then communicate through text message or email with the anonymous tipster to ask clarifying questions or for additional information. The tipster is never identified to law enforcement unless the tipster chooses to identify themselves to the officer.
Residents can sign up on a secure server that will protect their privacy.
Citizen Alerts inform all registered users of public safety concerns in their areas. The alerts contain information on crime trends, descriptions of suspects, missing persons, and advice on personal safety and how to safeguard property.
Business Alerts are targeted to specific business types to receive specific information about crimes pertinent to the business
Case Alerts will allow law enforcement to send out information about open cases to registered Citizen Observer users.
Watch Group Alerts allow law enforcement to send targeted alerts to specific neighborhoods with information about crimes happening in their immediate area."