School security is under the microscope due to recent events. Some New York State schools, including at least six in Onondaga County, have implemented an anonymous tip service from tip411 as a proactive approach to protecting the physical and mental health of students.
West Genesee High School is one of many schools across New York State that now use tip411, an anonymous communication tool that lets schools and law enforcement know about a variety of things happening on campus.
“We have a mix of different types of tips. Some are things about the parking lot and someone driving erratically that they want us to look into,” said West Genesee High School Principal Tracy Klefbeck.
Schools also get tips regarding bullying, harassment, vaping, drugs and alcohol, as well as threats of violence.
“And this has been really wonderful for us in that we have the ability to reach back out to the tipster ask follow-up questions, encourage them, depending on the tip to come meet with administration or a counselor,” said Klefbeck.
Joseph Coolican, first chief assistant district attorney for Onondaga County, says they have used tip411 across the county and in schools for six years.
“In today’s society, there’s a tremendous reluctance to be linked to reporting crimes to law enforcement,” said Coolican.
Coolican says over six years, more than 11,000 anonymous tips from tip411 have come into the sheriff’s department, and guaranteed anonymity is the key to getting them.
“Your identity will never be revealed in police paperwork, in court, or anywhere else. But it does give the police a lead to start tracking down and doing their job and investigating things before they go very badly. And it’s a two-way street. We absolutely depend on citizens reaching out and notifying law enforcement,” he said.
West Genesee Schools Website: West Genesee Schools tip411 Information