Fridley police have seen an increase in “quality of life” reports since implementing a tip app for smartphones about a year ago, according to Fridley police Capt. Ryan George.
The free app, Tip411, allows people to submit tips to the Police Department completely anonymously. Tip411 was funded in partnership with Fridley Public Schools.
The quality of life tips may be notifying the police of a noisy neighbor or parking problems.
“It seems to be things that are close to the tipsters’ house, so I can see why somebody wouldn’t want to call 911 on their neighbors and give a name and address and all that stuff,” George said. “So we’ve really seen an uptick in those tips lately.”
For those fearing repercussions from calling the police Tip411 can provide peace of mind, according to George.
“They don’t have to live in fear that their neighbor’s going to find out they called 911,” George said. “It’s 100% anonymous. We can’t figure out who the tipster is, even if we try to subpoena the company or get a search warrant for the records. They don’t have it.”
The only people seeing the tip through the app are Fridley Police staff, he said. Staff can engage in dialogue with tipsters to get more details if necessary.
Tip411 has been useful during times when police ask for the public’s help identifying someone or with anything related to a crime, George said. Users can send police any information they have through the app.
The anonymous app is useful for Fridley students as well, George said. If students hear a classmate threatening to hurt themselves or other people, they could anonymously report those threats to the police through the app.
Fridley Public Schools initially wanted to collaborate with the Police Department a few years ago, Fridley Public Schools director of communications and community relations Jael McLemore said.
“Tragic events can be prevented if they are reported to law enforcement ahead of time, and resources such as (Tip411) provide an additional layer to regular reporting channels, such as 911, that community members can use,” McLemore said.
In addition to the Tip411 app, she said, students have access to counselors and other school staff members if anything needs to be reported to keep schools safe.
“We really don’t want to miss an opportunity to partner if that helps enhance safety, if that helps increase security for our staff, our students and our buildings,” McLemore said.
Police are able to push notifications out to people’s phones as well. If there’s a street blocked off or an accident to report, police can tell the community through the app, so users are in the know if there are any major incidents.
Fridley residents can download the app through their phones’ app stores by searching Fridley PD Tip411.