Local residents who want to supply a tip to the McFarland Police Department have another option for doing so as the TIP411 system launched June 3.

McFarland Police Chief Craig Sherven said the program provides another avenue for people to provide information. During the last few years, the department has seen people moving away from traditional means of providing law enforcement with tips, such as phone calls, and preferring to use social media including Facebook.

“The problem with that is that we aren’t always monitoring Facebook, and sometimes miss out on this type of information. TIP411 alerts staff anytime new information is posted,” Sherven said.

The program is meant to be used as a quick, real time way of anonymously offering tip information to the police that does not need to have an immediate response from an officer, the chief said.

There are three ways for people to submit information to TIP411 – text message, a link on the McFarland Police Department’s website, and a smartphone app developed specifically for the local police. Sherven said police staff are alerted to the tip through a variety of ways.

To text a tip to the department using text, send the keyword MCFPD and the information to 847477. The app can be downloaded onto an Android or iPhone by searching McFarland PD in the app store. The direct link is www.tip411.com/tips/new?alert_group_id=21964.

Sherven stressed the system is not a means to report an incident in progress and needing immediate assistance or filing a police report.

The police chief said while TIP411 is intended for people to provide anonymous information to local law enforcement, people who have downloaded the app are also able to receive information pushed out from the McFarland Police Department.

More information on the program can be found online at www.mcfarland.wi.us/police.

“My hope is that the addition of this service will promote good communications and information sharing between us and the public,” Sherven said. “Like any other kind of service industry, we need to adapt to technology in order to effectively serve the public.”

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