Rockland County Anonymous Tip Program

Interview with Rockland County, NY about their use of tip411

tip411 interviewed Sergeant Earl Lorence of the Clarkstown, New York Police Department about his experience with tip411 at the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office.

Q: Tell us about your community and the work of the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office (how many residents, how many sworn, your role between PD and DA’s Office, etc.).
A:  
There are approximately 600 sworn law enforcement officers in Rockland County, NY.  There are approximately 325,000 residents in Rockland County. The RC DA and the 10 police departments and RC Sheriff’s Department work collaboratively to reduce, disrupt and prevent crime.

Q: How did you hear about tip411?
A:
Yonkers PD / Westchester, NY implemented it years ago and we have been aware of the platform since that time.  We were looking for a way to engage our citizens

Q: How is tip411 administered in your area (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A:
As the tips come in, they are immediately disseminated to the agency representative that handles that jurisdiction.  They can then handle the tip the way that they see fit according to their agency guidelines.

Q: How has tip411 aided the DA’s Office?
A:
It has brought several different law enforcement agencies to work together for the common good of the community.

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A:
 The platform was responsible for information leading to an arrest of a resident who had weapons and a large amount of drugs. The tipster only felt comfortable reaching out anonymously via the app and continued communicating, which helped us build the case and arrest the suspect.

Q: What have you done to promote your tip411 system to make sure residents know about it and use it?
A:
We have been doing ‘free’ advertising on social media via each departments Facebook page and Twitter page.  In addition, we advertised in our local Sunday newspaper and digital advertising via their platform as well. 

Q: Any advice for other agencies considering tip411?
A:
Have ‘buy-in’ from the top down or else it may impede the progress of getting the message out to the public.

tip411 app program download Rockland County

Rockland District Attorney’s Office tips411 app: What are tipsters reporting?

The Rockland County District Attorney’s tip411 app has been downloaded hundreds of times in its first six months and has generated dozens of tips from all corners of the county, some leading to arrests.

The app lets smartphone users send anonymous tips about suspected crime, drugs, vehicle and traffic concerns, suspicious activity and other quality of life issues to their local police department with officers able to respond, creating a two-way chat.

The app’s settings allow users to receive alerts about reported crime on a countywide basis or in just their own towns. Users can also submit posts, photos and video from social media.

VIDEO: Rockland DA announces new tip411 app for anonymous tipsters

ROCKLAND: Law enforcement unveils anonymous tip texting app

One tip led to a shared investigation between the county Narcotics Task Force and Ramapo police that resulted in a pair of arrests for cocaine, marijuana and a stun gun.

Three arrests for outstanding warrants also came as a result of tips through the app, said Capt. Brendan Donohue of the District Attorney’s Office Detective Bureau, who oversees the program.

“It’s a great way people can report on things without having their name exposed and they can help fight crime,” Donohue said. “They’re really partners with the police, that’s the whole idea,”

Dohohue said the majority of the tips have been for suspected crimes like drug deals on the streets or complaints like speeding or stop signs being ignored in specific neighborhoods.

“We can use our resources to put cars in those areas,” he said.

District Attorney Tom Zugibe said the app takes the fear out of reporting suspected crime because law enforcement cannot trace the users’ identity.

Read the full story from Rockland/Westchester Journal News

Anonymous tip texting app

Rockland law enforcement unveils anonymous tip texting app

Anyone who witnesses a crime or can provide information on wrongdoing can use a free anonymous cell phone application to text police.

The county’s social media-based tip411 application was unveiled Tuesday by the Rockland District Attorney’s Office and local police. The system has been used in Westchester County, as well as across the state and nation.

While police still want emergency calls to go to 911, tip411 is geared toward texting tips and video and could overcome fears of witness intimidation, authorities said during a news conference at the District Attorney’s Office in the Rockland Courthouse.

The application also allows for receiving police alerts and social media channels.

“Giving the public the ability to anonymously communicate with police will allow people to provide key information without fear of reprisal,” District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said. “Tip411 will also help to alleviate a lack of witness cooperation, which has hampered the investigative process in many criminal cases.”

The targeted audience is especially young people, who are rarely without their cell phones.

“Tell a young person to make a phone call and they don’t want to,” Zugibe said. “Tell them to send a text message, no problem.”

The “RocklandCo DA app” can be downloaded free from Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, or by visiting the District Attorney’s Office website at www.rocklandgov.com.

Police said the system enables people to send anonymous tips about crime, drugs, bullying and suspicious activity to their local police department with officers able to respond, creating a two-way chat.

Three ways to send tips:

  • Send anonymous text tips to 847411 – tip411- then type keyword “rocklandcoda” add a space, type your tip info and hit send.
  • An anonymous tip can be sent through the free RocklandCo DA Smartphone app for iPhone and Android or tablet.
  • Use the anonymous web tip form at the District Attorney’s Office at www.rocklandgov.com.
“This does not replace 911 for crimes in progress,” Zugibe said, adding the tips are an investigative tool for police to solve crimes. “The tips are 100 percent anonymous.”

Police said the tip system has been used in Westchester County for nearly six years and has helped solve “cold cases.”

The system costs $17,000 for 24 months. The cost is paid through funds seized from criminal enterprises, District Attorney’s Office Capt. Brendan Donohue said.

All tips will be investigated just as if a person called in on the telephone or walked into a police station, authorities said, referring to people submitting false information.

Zugibe also said the information is not prosecution testimony.

“This is not a substitute to testimony,”  he said. “This will be a valuable investigative tool.”

Read the full story from Lohud.

Outreach planned for Tip411

Onondaga County’s District Attorney is planning a major outreach to get more residents to use Tip 411, to help area law enforcers.

The anonymous tip ‘line’ (actually a phone app) is set up for use by 20 law enforcement agencies in Onondaga County.

D A Bill Fitzpatrick says that in the next month, there will be outreach to every house of worship and school to pass on information on how to get involved.

The easiest way to access the app, according to Fitzpatrick, is to search ‘Onondaga’ in your app store. When Tip411 is downloaded, you’ll be prompted to select ‘your’ agency.

Read the full story from CNYCentral.com