Chief John Swenson

Lino Lakes Police Now Using tip411 to Communicate with Residents

Tony Stano wanted for some time to bring the product he’s helped sell to communities around the country to the city where he lives.

“It’s kind of a passion project for me,” said Stano, who lives in Lino Lakes and is sales director for Tip411, a Twin Cities-based company that has operated a law enforcement communication platform for nearly 20 years.

“I know how important it is to every community we work with because it’s a complete community engagement tool that works to provide a safe space for residents to get involved in government where they might not otherwise feel inclined to say anything about what’s happening in their neighborhoods,” Stano said.

Lino Lakes Public Safety Department is the latest agency to sign on, and the system is now live.

“This is a platform for us to have really on-going engagement with our community,” said Public Safety Director John Swenson. “(Residents) can also provide information to us anonymously through text messaging, through the app, or through the website.”

It works seamlessly with the department’s existing social media platforms, including Facebook, which has continued to prove popular with people who live and work in Lino Lakes.

Tip411 also divides the city into four zones to streamline communication and make each zone specific to where users are most interested in knowing what’s going on.

“Simply by clicking a couple of boxes, we’re able to send that information across all of our social media platforms at one time, which is a real advantage for us,” said Swenson. “Public safety really is a partnership. We cannot possibly keep track of everything that’s going on in our community.”

“It doesn’t matter the size of the agency or community,” said Stano. “If you can send a text, download an app, or manage the internet in any capacity, you can utilize Tip411 to participate in neighborhood safety.”

Lino Lakes Tip411 Anonymous Tips

Lino Lakes Police debut new app on Night to Unite

Residents now have another way to stay informed about what is going on in their community and share information with law enforcement while remaining anonymous.

Just in time for Night to Unite Aug. 6, the Lino Lakes Public Safety Department (LLPSD) announced it had partnered with Tip411 so residents can have a multitude of channels to communicate with law enforcement — all anonymously.

“For the residents, it is just one more opportunity for them to partner with us and provide us information,” Public Safety Director John Swenson said. “For us, it is providing another opportunity to get information that can help us further make our community safe and it allows us to do some targeted communications and continue to work to find efficiencies for social media use.”

Tip411 is a St. Paul company that has been around since 2000. The company works with law enforcement, schools and community groups to implement community notification systems including crime alerts, anonymous text tips, smartphone apps and social media pushes. Tip411 currently works with 1,800 communities across 47 states. Some of its largest customers include the U.S. Air Force and the cities of San Francisco, San Antonio, Minneapolis and Duluth.

Lino Lakes resident Tony Stano, who has been a sales director with Tip411for almost six years, said over the past several years he has periodically checked in with city officials to see if there was interest in joining the Tip411 platform. “Because it was my hometown, I was particularly passionate about seeing it through to fruition or to have the door shut,” Stano explained. The department and the company started planning for the launch a year ago.

Swenson said although the technology is something his department had been interested in for a long time, because of the department’s size there were only so many resources it could manage.

“The thing that really tipped it for us and why we decided to go with it, was the ability to create targeted zones of our city so we could do communications direct to areas,” Swenson explained. “For example, if we had something going on in northwest corner of our city related to theft from vehicles, we could send it out to that area of the city, versus broadcasting it throughout. We can be specific about our messaging geographically, which we have not had an ability to do prior to this application.”

Through Tip411, the LLPSD can send out alerts through its custom branded mobile app (available for iPhone and Android), email, text and social media. Residents are also able to send anonymous tips via all those channels. Through the app and on the website, residents can also submit tips about specific pins/incidents on the community crime map.

“One of the main benefits of Tip411 is that any tip that is sent in starts at two-way conversation with law enforcement and the tipster remains anonymous 100% of the time. For every tip that LLPSD receives, they will have the opportunity to respond to the tip or ask questions to develop information before ever having to deploy a physical resource if necessary,” Stano said. “So instead of an officer chasing down a two-sentence tip that they really don’t know about, they can save time and communicate over our service. For the public, it is a safe space to get involved without the fear of retribution or retaliation.”

The mobile app also enables residents to attach videos and or pictures to their tips. “If LLPSD pushes out an alert that they are looking for a suspect in a red car, you could be sitting at Applebees eating your rib tips and see that car in the parking lot. Right from your mobile device in real time, you can submit a tip about that alert,” Stano said.

As always, residents should call 911 in an emergency. “It is very important that everybody understands this is a mechanism for people to communicate with us about a non-emergency event, or a not-in-progress event,” Swenson urged. “If you need to see a police officer, or you see something suspicious in your neighborhood and you want a police response, that has to go through our dispatch center because these platforms are not monitored on an ongoing basis.”

By downloading the app, you opt in to getting alerts through the app. If you want alerts via email or text, you have to sign up online on the city’s website. (Go to the public safety tab, click police division, programs & initiatives and then Tip411.) Residents are encouraged to sign up for the particular zone they live in, although they are also able to receive all alerts across the city if they so choose. For questions, contact LLPSD at 651-982-2323.

Read the full story from Quad Community Press

Dartmouth Police Cruiser

Dartmouth Police Launch App for Reporting Crime, Safety Alerts

A new alert system to to help enhance public safety communications in town is being launched by the Dartmouth Police Department, Chief Brian Levesque announced Monday.

Tip411 is an interactive way to keep the community connected and informed through email, text message and online public safety alerts. The new system for Dartmouth residents will also allow the public to report crimes and other suspicious activity directly to police by sending anonymous text messages or submitting tips online or through the Dartmouth Police Department app.

“This new system enables members of the public to communicate directly with the department through anonymous tips. It also allows us to send alerts directly to your cell phone or email address,” Chief Levesque said. “We encourage all of our residents to sign up. But I would also like to note that this is not a substitute for calling 911 during an emergency and the tip system is not monitored 24/7.”

Residents can register to receive alerts from Dartmouth Police via email and/or text message by signing up online or downloading the Dartmouth PD app. Developed by tip411, the Dartmouth PD app enables the public to share anonymous tips with police and lets officers respond. Residents can download the app for free for iPhones and Androids.

The public can also share information on crimes or other suspicious activity by sending a text message to 847411 (tip411) and in the body of the text type DartmouthPD and the message they would like to send. Those who prefer a web-based option can share information with police by using the tip411 web form on the Dartmouth Police website.

Dartmouth Police would like to remind the community that this new system should never be used in the event of an emergency, and that residents should always dial 911 if they need immediate assistance.

“There is no better time than right now to gain the trust and respect from your community.”

UPDATE: August 12, 2019

Crime Prevention Officer Caitlin Horne shared the following with us as ongoing proof of the success of Bismarck PD’s tip411 system:

“Below are two cases where tip411 played a HUGE ROLE as it appears more and more people are turning away from using our Facebook page as a place to say who the suspect(s) are as their names would be attached to it and they cannot stay anonymous on Facebook. I know we have many more success stories, but these are two where we got many tips in a fast timeframe and were able to solve the cases quickly.”

  • KT Animal Supply called to report two individuals, a male and female, came into their store and stole two rabbits. The investigating officer was able to obtain video footage of the theft and the video was placed on our Facebook page. Within an hour of the video being uploaded, I started receiving tips on tip411 about both suspects. After the 9thtip, the officer was able to positively ID both suspects and they were both questioned and ultimately admitted to stealing the rabbits. The rabbits were safely returned to KT Animal Supply and the suspects were both trespassed from KT indefinitely.
  • Ulta Beauty contacted Police after a female had left the store with over $400 worth of merchandise without paying for it. The investigating officer was able to get two still frame shots of the female and a male accomplice that was the getaway driver. The pictures were uploaded onto our Facebook page and Tips immediately started coming in on Tip411. The investigating officer was able to positively ID both suspects and formal complaints were issued through City Court. The investigating Officer applauded Tip411 for being the sole reason for the identification of these two suspects.

tip411 interviewed Officer Caitlin Horne of the Bismarck, North Dakota Police Department.

Q: Tell us about your community and the Bismarck Police Department (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A:
Bismarck’s population is over 72,000 people and, in 2017, Forbes Magazine ranked Bismarck as the 7thfastest-growing small city in the United States. The Bismarck Police Department currently has 129 sworn officers and continues to hire more when budget allows.Our Department is a full service agency that handles anything from an animal call to a homicide or aggravated assault.

Bismarck is constantly growing and expanding, and we have seen an influx of individuals coming to our area for employment opportunities. With that said, we have also seen an uptick in illegal activity which makes tip411 a great program to have in our department.

Q: How did you hear about tip411?
A:
tip411 staff came to the Bismarck Police Department a couple of years ago and did a demonstration of what they could bring to our agency. There was a webinar put on and, after speaking to other agencies that have tip411, we decided it was ultimately the best program out there that would benefit not only our department but allow the community to be more involved with our every day activities.

Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A:
There are three ways a citizen can report a tip. One way is through the Bismarck PD app. The second is through our departments website, and the third way is that residents can access the program on our website.

As of now, I review the tips that come in during the daytime hours, Monday-Friday, and will distribute them to the investigator in charge of the case they relate to. All supervisors and patrol commanders have access to the program after hours and are able to see all the tips that come in.

With the program being so new to our community (we just recently launched in January 2019), we are still receiving many of what we consider “in progress” calls on tip411. With Patrol Commanders having access to this program during the night hours, they are able to constantly check the status of any tip and determine if it is a call they need to respond to during their working shift or if it is something that can wait until the day time hours.

Q: How has the tip411 system aided your department?
A:
Just in the last two months, we believe tip411 has become a critical and essential tool to this Police Department. We take many reports from our citizens where they ask to remain anonymous and they have been deterred in the past from calling us because they don’t want to be involved in the report. tip411 gives our citizens the opportunity to report activity to us anonymously and help our department crack down on crime.

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A:
When we first launched tip411, we got multiple tips on the location and sightings of a juvenile runaway as well as numerous tips on the possible identities of suspects in a huge ring of felony cases.

Q: What have you done to promote your tip411 system to make sure residents know about it and use it?
A:
One of our main goals is to have a positive interaction with our community. We are fortunate to have so many citizens in the Bismarck area support our department and have close to 27,000 people following our Facebook page.

Our Crime Analysist works very hard to keep our Facebook page updated throughout the year. She tries to keep the citizens up to date on current cases we are trying to solve and request that citizens help with identifying the suspects.

Before tip411, most of our tips came from our Facebook page. We would ask the community to help identify a suspect(s) and we would get a great number of people willing to help. The biggest problem we saw was our citizens were wanting to help us and give us information but they did not want to be associated with the case and be looked at as a “nark” and, unfortunately with Facebook, as much as you make your profile private, there is always ways around it.

Now with tip411, our community is able to interact with us in another, completely anonymous, way and it’s much more beneficial for them as well as our agency. I believe the longer tip411 is in use by our agency, the stronger the trust of the community will become and our bond with the community will continue to grow.

We have links on our Facebook page and our website along with a billboard right by our Police Department which shows people how they can use the tip411 app to send us tips. Our local news stations have also done stories on tip411 and have helped us reach out to our community on how to properly use the system.

Q: Any advice for other departments considering tip411?
A:
There is no better time than right now to gain the trust and respect from your community. tip411 gives you that opportunity to build trust with community members who might be on the fence about law enforcement in general. In my eyes, giving the community another way to reach out to law enforcement can only make a stronger bond between the two.

Effingham County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office Launches tip411

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office has launched a new app for customized crime fighting. It’s called “tip411.”

The tip411 app is designed to help you better connect to law enforcement, find information, view alerts, and submit anonymous tips. It is now available to download in your app store.

“There are a lot more eyes and ears out there other than just deputies and law enforcement that can give us information,” said Effingham County Sheriff, Jimmy McDuffie. “It allows residents to not only submit tips, but access agency alerts. We have a crime mapping program that’s on it. When we do any alerts, they’ll go out on the Tip411 program, Facebook, and Twitter.”

The Effingham County School District has also implemented tip411.

See the full story from WTOC