Harrisonburg Police Department Launches New Anonymous Tip Tool Powered by tip411

The new Harrisonburg PD app, developed by tip411, enables the public to share anonymous tips with the Harrisonburg, VA Police Department (82 sworn officers) and lets officers respond to create a two-way conversation.

Harrisonburg PD tip411

Interim Chief Rod Pollard said the department’s success lies with its connection to the community.

“Our new system will allow us to continue delivering exceptional police services that enable the safety, security, and well-being of all by promoting a stronger partnership with our community members,” Pollard said.

According to Lieutenant Chris Monahan, the new system developed by tip411 is similar to Crime Solvers or Crime Stoppers but is more comprehensive.

“This tool is far more comprehensive and allows us to have direct dialogue with the person submitting the tip,” Monahan said. “So, an individual might send out information in reference to a wanted individual, and someone might respond to that with: ‘hey, I think I might know that person or I might have seen that person,’ and we can respond directly to that tipster and have some dialogue.”

Juliana McGrath, HPD communication specialist, says Harrisonburg PD app allows the community not only to submit tips, but they can also sign up to receive different alerts. For example, you can choose from traffic alerts or crime updates, to name a few. McGrath said that HPD plans to provide all sorts of notifications.

The public can submit anonymous tips to the Harrisonburg PD by texting HPDVA and the tip information to 847411. The Harrisonburg PD app can be downloaded for free at the Apple App Store and Google Play App Store.


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Alaska State Troopers

Anonymous tips from tip411 tool help Alaska State Troopers arrest homicide suspect

The Alaska State Troopers (350 sworn) recently reported that tips submitted from their AKtips mobile app, powered by tip411, led to an arrest of a homicide suspect involved in a hit and run incident.

The suspect was arrested for Criminally Negligent Homicide, Failure to Render Aide, and two counts of Tampering with Evidence. The suspect was developed with the assistance of the Technical Crimes Unit in Anchorage, as well as a tip submitted to the Alaska State Troopers.

According to a news release, “AST would like to thank those that submitted tips to AST and through the AKTips app, as it has been crucial to this investigation.”

In August 2023, the AST published an alert via tip411 to the public, asking for information about a hit and run that killed an adult male near Delta Junction. Citizens were asked if they had information but would like to remain anonymous, to submit tips with the AKTips smartphone app.

The Alaska State Troopers mobile app is available to download for free from the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store. Citizens can also submit an anonymous text tip via their cell phone by texting the keyword “AKTIPS” and their message/tip to 847411.

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Greenfield IN Police Dept. tip411 tool

tip411 Helps Greenfield, IN Police Department Close Cases

Tips from the Greenfield, IN Police Department (44 sworn officers) tip411 anonymous tip tool have helped the department close multiple cases, according to Deputy Chief Charles McMichael.

The most recent case closed as a results of tips submitted by residents is a man charged with Public Indecency, a level 6 Felony. 

“We are very pleased with our new tip411 platform and want to encourage people to use it. We have received multiple tips from this service already and have been able to clear 3 missing persons cases with information received from the public,” the agency said in media release.

The Greenfield Police Department’s new tool, powered by tip411, helps residents connect with the department to find information, view alerts, and submit anonymous tips from their smartphone.

The Greenfield Police Department mobile app is available to download for free from the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store. Citizens can also submit an anonymous text tip via their cell phone by texting the keyword “GPDTIP” and their message/tip to 847411.

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tip411: An IT Professional Perspective

tip411 recently interviewed Scott Price of the Information Technology Unit at the Pennsauken, New Jersey Police Department (87 sworn officers) about his agency’s use of tip411’s anonymous tips tool. Price said the tip411 tool is an easy, instant way for the police to communicate with the public, is extremely user friendly, was simple to setup and requires minimal intervention from him.

Q: From an IT perspective, what makes tip411 a great tool?
A: It is an easy, instant way for the police to communicate with the public. The public usually receives a faster response time when submitting a tip as the tip goes directly to a supervisor on duty as apposed to a call center for our County Dispatch.

Q: Can you provide some details on how easy it was to set tip411 up for your department and the ease of use for your personnel?
A: The web interface is extremely user friendly. Very little was required from me, besides inputting our department-specific information. When information was required, tip411 staff was available and guided me through the process. The platform is self-explanatory and officers can navigate it easily. 

Q: As a member of the IT Unit, can you speak to tip411’s functionality and security?
A: Out of all of the computer programs, applications, and software that officers use, this one requires minimal intervention from me. Once set up, it just works! As for security, I have not been able to find any problems with it. Individual user access can be set to see as much or as little as the Chief decides.

Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A: Every Officer has downloaded the application on their phone. Supervisors, administration, and a dedicated cellular telephone at the Information Officer’s Desk all receive the incoming tips. When a tip is received, the supervisor will respond to the tipster. If a supervisor is busy, the Officer working the Information Desk can respond. The tip is then given over the radio to the officer in the district where the tip was received so they can investigate. The Alert function is also broken down into several groups such as specific area districts, Township news, Township events, press releases, traffic incidents/closures, and Community Policing events. The most used one is an internal group for all Officers where things such as overtime details, point of information alerts, BOLO alerts, and announcements are made. Since every Officer has the application on their phone, they are immediately notified of important information. Speed studies, temporary road closures, missing persons, and significant arrests are the next most used alert groups we have.  

Q: How has the tip411 system aided your department?
A:  The department is now able to get information out to the public in real time. For example, we don’t have to hope that someone sees a post on social media when we have a missing person – now they will see it as soon as the department sends the alert. 

Q: Any advice for other departments considering tip411?
A: Price and functionality is what it comes down to. For the same price you are paying for that program that sends a text message to your residents, you could be having 2-way conversations with them through tip411. You can also utilize the system to instantly alert the public of danger, re-route them around a dangerous traffic incident, or invite them to community events.

Q: Tell us about your community and the Pennsauken Police Department (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A: Pennsauken Township is 12.1 square miles with a population of 36,000 residents. It is bordered by Camden City, Cherry Hill Township, Cinnaminson Township and Merchantville Township. Our 87 sworn officers are on track to respond for roughly 80,000 calls for service in 2023.

Kokomo PD

tip411 Customer Profile: Kokomo Police Department

tip411 recently interviewed Major Brian Seldon of the Kokomo, Indiana Police Department (89 sworn officers), about his agency’s use of tip411’s anonymous tips tool. Major Seldon said the tip411 tool has made it easier for their agency to communicate with their citizens, along with solving more crime and gathering more information using tip411 than before they had tip411.

Q: How has the tip411 system aided your department?
A: From our perspective, tip411 is a great tool for our agency. As one of the agency’s Public Information Officers, I found that the platform made it more efficient to send out press releases to media outlets, alerts, and the overall effectiveness of just communicating with our citizens. The platform has made it so much easier for residents to provide information to the police and remain anonymous. Prior to tip411, our agency utilized social media platforms such as Facebook to engage citizens. With the social media features of tip411, the sharing of information to Facebook and Twitter just made it so much easier to manage. 

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A:  We have too many tip/arrests to name.  This software has definitely benefited our agency. 

Q: Any advice for other departments considering tip411?
A: The ease of the platform makes it so much efficient and effective to share information with the media and citizens. The app also makes it so much easier for individuals to share information with the police and remain anonymous.  It is our experience since rolling out the app that the public feels more comfortable sharing information with our department. We definitely feel that we have solved more crime, gathered more information, and more with tip411 than before we had tip411. The company and their support staff have also been pleasant and helpful to work with. 

Q: What have you done to promote your tip411 system to make sure residents know about it and use it?
A: We promoted tip411 by the flyer prepared and provided by tip411. We also provided business cards to our officers for them to pass out while they are patrolling the streets. In addition, we have a vinyl banner promoting tip411 that we display at our public events to promote the app and encourage downloads and use.

Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A: When we first initiated tip411, I was the main administrator and had two individuals who managed the tips when they came in. With promoting the platform, I saw that it was gaining interest and we started receiving more tips on cases. Now, myself and two others send alerts to media outlets, citizens, and local crime watch groups and then two other staff manage the tips as they come in from the public. These two individuals assign the tips to the patrol, criminal investigation section, or the drug unit.   

Q: How did you hear about tip411?
A: We launched tip411 in July of 2022. We were looking for additional ways for our agency to connect with citizens of the community and continue to find way to keep our community safe and solve crimes. 

Q: Tell us about your community and the Kokomo Police Department (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A: The City of Kokomo, Indiana is the county seat of Howard County. The city is 36.79 square miles with an estimated population of 59,691. Our department has between 80 and 90 sworn police officers.

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