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Poway City Council approves 'Poway Alert' tip line

Posted at 6:13 AM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 09:13:32-04

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) — Starting Wednesday, people in Poway will have a new way to report any safety concerns in their city.

The tip line was approved unanimously after a short discussion by the city council on Tuesday night. The mayor hopes this will help prevent an act of mass violence in his city.

Mayor Steve Vaus says he came up with the idea for the new tip line, in response to the recent mass shootings in Texas and New York.

Vaus is no stranger to tragedy, he was mayor in 2019 when a gunman walked into the Chabad of Poway and opened fire, killing Lori Gilbert-Kay and injuring the rabbi.

Vaus is hoping the tip line will prevent acts of violence, like the synagogue shooting, or help anyone needing mental health services that could stop them from harming themselves or others.

The mayor noted that the tip line won't replace 911, for immediate emergencies, or the non-emergency number that exists already for the sheriff's department.

He says it's similar to the Poway Unified tip line he created four years ago for any school-related threats.

The line is exclusive to the city of Poway, tips will be vetted by deputies who can determine if the information is credible, and what resources might be needed, including mental health PERT teams.

Vaus says no amount of information is too small and says it's best to call and have deputies determine if there's a danger to the community or not.

The tip line goes live at 7 a.m. on Wednesday and calls can be anonymous. The number to call is 855-56-ALERT.

The six-month trial for the tip line will cost the city $190 and in six months the council will decide whether or not to make it permanent.