tip411 interviewed McKinney Independent School District’s Director of Safety, Greg Hill, and Sgt. Sherwood Holmes, who is in charge of the district’s School Resource Officers, about their use of tip411 in McKinney, Texas.
Q: Tell us about McKinney and your school district.
A: McKinney ISD is made up of 31 schools with 24,400 students. McKinney, a community of around 150,000, is one of the fastest growing cities in the US.
Two years ago we began using tip411 after the McKinney Police Department approached us about the system and told us to apply for a grant. We received the grant, which funded the system in all 31 of our high, middle, and elementary schools.
Q: How is the tip411 system used in your schools?
A: Our SRO’s assigned to each school receive and respond to tips. Sergeant Holmes is also able to see all tips received. Depending on the nature of the tip, the SRO either forwards tips about criminal activity to the police department, and other tips are sent to the school’s administrators for follow up.
We receive around 700 tips per year, mostly from middle and high school students. Our three most common types of tips are students concerned about the welfare of others, drug tips, and tips about bullying. We also receive tips about tobacco use, petty thefts, and more.
Q: Why tip411?
A: We aren’t about reinventing the wheel. Schools and police in this area talk and collaborate regularly, and tip411 has everything we wanted; the ability for students to send tips anonymously and also allowing our officers to communicate directly with students.
Our SRO’s have great relationships with many students, but tip411 allows our SRO’s to build relationships with students they have not yet been able to reach.
tip411 also promotes kids being responsible for the safety of their schools and having them take that kind of ownership is priceless.