Benton Harbor bringing in tip411 app

Benton Harbor residents will soon be able to report suspicious activity through tip411, a smartphone app that allows people to report activities anonymously.

Public Safety Director Dan McGinnis said he wants to help citizens feel safe communicating with law enforcement.

“The company that does this will not reveal the person’s name,” he said. 

He said they have talked to people who know who shot them, but won’t tell the police. 

“We had a person who had been murdered, who was done in front of people who actually took him to the hospital and none of them wanted step up and speak,” he said.

McGinnis said it’s a chance to let people communicate on their own terms.

“We just need the information,” he said. “We don’t care where it come from in most cases. But if we don’t get it, it makes it hard for us to protect your neighborhoods.”

In addition, he said the app will allow the department to send out alerts if needed.

After the meeting, Deputy Director Mike Clark said residents will be notified, when the app is ready, about how to download and use it through the city’s website and a news release. He didn’t know how long it will take to launch the app. 

During the meeting, McGinnis said one of the things residents sometimes want to report anonymously is illegal dumping.

McGinnis declared war on illegal dumping about two weeks ago. Anyone who sees someone suspected of illegal dumping can call the new dumping hotline at 944-7929.

“It’s absolutely appalling,” he said.

He said a state Department of Environmental Quality investigator last week found five automobile repair shops that didn’t have the proper paperwork, showing that they legally disposed of scrap tires.

“They are on notice,” he said. “… The tire situation is absolutely horrendous. We have hundreds and hundreds of tires in ravines.”

McGinnis said they have made 13 arrests concerning illegal dumping since the last City Commission meeting. 

Read the full story from The Herald-Palladium

Ashland City Police new logo

New Ashland City Police Department app allows communication, anonymous tips

Ashland City residents can download an app to better communicate — even anonymously — with their local police department.

The Ashland City Council approved a contract with tip411 in September, a three-year contract covered by the police department’s budget, Chief Marc Coulon explained at the meeting.

Tip411 is a web-based tool used in law enforcement agencies, schools and coalitions, according to its website.

Ashland City’s police department “is increasing its crime-fighting arsenal” by launching the avenue for the public to find information, receive alerts from the department and submit anonymous tips. Officers can respond back and engage in conversation with the anonymous tipsters.

The free app is available to Apple and Android users, and residents can also sign up using the Town of Ashland City’s website. Those without a smartphone can also send anonymous tips by texting ACPDTIP and their message to the department to 847411 (tip411), according to a tip411 release sent by the Ashland City Police Department.

“Our mission is to reduce crime and the fear of crime through outstanding police services in partnership with the community,” Coulon said in the release. “We believe the addition of this new app will allow us to have an even deeper crime-fighting partnership with our residents.”

Coulon previously told the Times that even Cheatham County residents outside of Ashland City can use the app to send anonymous tips to the Ashland City Police Department, which can relay the tip to the correct jurisdiction.

“The Ashland City Police tip411 Mobile app will greatly improve the public’s access to agency alerts, social media channels, important information, and more to help fight crime,” tip411 President Terry Halsch said in the release. “We’ve listened to feedback from partners like (the) Ashland City Police Department and have built more advanced and innovative products to help departments better engage their communities.”

Ashland City police can also send notifications — including maps, images, links, case information, suspect or missing person information and more — to users. Those alerts can also be posted to the department’s social media accounts. Deputies will be able to log into tip411 from anywhere with internet access on any device.

Read the story from the Nashville Tennessean

Tye PD launch new anonymous tip app

Tye and Tye PD launch tip411 app for residents

The City of Tye and the Tye Police Department have announced the launch of a new app to help residents connect with the City and the police department.

Citizens will be able to find information, receive important alerts from the City and submit anonymous tips from their smartphones.

The Tye PD app is available for download for free via Google Play Store, the iTunes App Store or by visiting the Tye Police Department website at CityofTye.org/PoliceDept .

“Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Tye by working in partnership with the community.” Chief Jay Strong of the Tye Police Department said. “We believe our new Tye PD app from tip411 will help make it safer and easier for residents to share information with us to increase safety in our community and receive important information from the city.”

The new app allows the public to share anonymous tips with police and lets officers respond back to create an anonymous two-way conversation. Residents can also register to receive important public safety alerts, information about road closures, water leaks, weather and more, via email or text message.

The app and tip411 anonymous text-a-tip system are 100 percent anonymous with technology removing all identifying information before police see the tips, leaving no way to identify the sender.

Residents in Tye without a smartphone can share information with police by sending an anonymous text tip via their cellphone to police by texting keyword TYEPD and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411).

Anonymous web tips can also be submitted through the department’s website at CityofTye.org/PoliceDept

Elizabeth police Tip411

Elizabethton Police and tipsters united with new app

It started with Scotland Yard and was promoted by the FBI.

Police have a long tradition of using the latest technology to solve crimes and arrest the perpetrators.

But despite this ever-increasing use of technology, police are also mindful that one of their most effective tools is something as old-fashioned as an anonymous tip.

The Elizabethton Police Department announced this week that it is increasing its crime-fighting arsenal with a new app to help residents connect with the department to find information, view alerts and submit anonymous tips from their smartphone.

Developed by tip411, the Elizabethton PD app provides citizens of all ages and abilities with a new tool to work with the police. The Elizabethton PD app is available for download tor free via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store or by visiting the Elizabethton Police Department website at www.elizabethton.org/departments/police.php.

“Preventing crime is our first operational priority as we work from a community-based philosophy of policing,” Elizabethton Police Chief Jason Shaw said. “Working together, we are more likely to make lasting improvements in our quality of life, and I believe the new Elizabethton PD app from tip411 will help make it safer and easier for residents to share information with us to increase safety in our community.”

The new Elizabethton PD app enables the public to share an anonymous tip with police and lets officers respond back to create an anonymous two-way conversation.

“We’ve listened to feedback from partners like Elizabethton Police and have built a more advanced and innovative product to help departments better engage their communities,” said tip411 President Terry Halsch.

“The Elizabethton PD app powered by tip411 will greatly improve the public’s access to agency alerts, social media channels, important information, and more to help fight crime.”

The system is 100 percent anonymous, as the technology removes all identifying information before police see the tips and there is no way to identify the sender.

Residents in Elizabethton without a smartphone will still be able to share information with police by sending an anonymous text tip via their cellphone to police by texting keyword TIPEPD and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous web tips can also be submitted through the department’s website at elizabethton.org/departments/police.php.

Read the full story from Johnson City Press

Inver Grove Heights Police Cruiser

Inver Grove Heights PD Launches New Text Tip Tool

In a day when technology reigns, the Inver Grove Heights Police Department decided to turn to the devices that are almost always attached to people’s hands to help fight crime.

The department announced via its Facebook page Nov. 7 it will utilize Tip411, a program that allows folks to submit tips the way many communicate most — via text message.

Utilizing phones

Chief Paul Schnell said the program has been around for a number of years and is used by agencies in Minnesota and across the country.

“We know simply that we have a texting culture and people want to provide information, but one of the things that keeps some people from reporting or calling or providing information is the fact that they’re concerned about their anonymity,” he said.

Tip411 allows people to send texts that get filtered through an automated system. Schnell said the department doesn’t know who sent the tip — it can be text or a picture — and the system allows the department to communicate back to the tipster.

The day the post was made about the new feature, Schnell said the department received a useful tip through it. Someone let police know about a dump truck that was stolen from a business on Concord Street. The truck had also pulled down wires.

The department was able to communicate back with the tipster and verify the information. The tipster, however, never had to identify themself.

Tip411 is a product of St. Paul-based Citizen Observer. Schnell said he has used the system in other communities like Hastings and Maplewood, where it helped the department identify a homicide suspect and solve the case.

Use in the schools

Schnell said ISD 199 is also launching the Tip411 program, with the aim of improving school safety at the middle and high schools.

Superintendent Dave Bernhardson said the program was brought to the school’s attention by Schnell.

“Once we had that dialogue, we felt it was a very, very good opportunity for both of us to partner to get great information and obtain information from our kids, when needed,” said Bernhardson.

He said the district hopes students use the new tool as a safe space to communicate with officials about things that are concerning them.

“There seems, I guess we’ll find out, an unlimited amount of things that they can communicate, because in the end we want to make sure everything is as safe as possible for our kids,” Bernhardson said.

Schnell said Tip411 could be a mechanism for someone to report if they know of another student bringing a weapon to school. It could also be used for other things like reporting bullying or a student worried about another student talking about suicide.

“Ultimately, what it does is help create a safer school environment by getting good information to administrators to vet and sort through, and ultimately identify solutions,” Schnell said.

Bernhardson added any information gleaned over Tip411 would need to be confirmed, so he sees it as no different than other means of communication.

Read the full story from LillieNews.com