On 11/08/2019 the North Dakota Parole and Probation, Barnes County Sheriff’s Office and Valley City Police Department conducted a search of a residence in the 100 Block of 6th Street Northwest in Valley City.
A variety of narcotics, narcotic paraphernalia along with two firearms were located and seized from the residence. Two individuals were taken into custody and criminal charges are pending. This incident is currently under investigation so if you have any additional information please contact the Barnes County Sheriff’s Office.
Attention was drawn to the residence through the anonymous Barnes County Tip411 program. Sheriff McClaflin would like to thank the public for their vigilance and assistance in this and other matters.
tip411 interviewed Captain Mark O’Toole of the Lynn, Massachusetts Police Department.
Q: Tell us about Lynn and your department (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A: The City of Lynn is the ninth largest city in Massachusetts with a population of approximately 93,000 but likely another 10,000 undocumented persons. We are 10.4 square miles and have been accumulating “city problems” over the years. We’re one city away from Boston but have a lot of the same issues they do, just on a smaller level. Our department has shrunk from almost 200 sworn down to about 165. Crime is going down in terms of the index numbers, but the calls for service have not decreased. We run the gambit on all crimes including robbery, car breaks, larceny, and housebreaks.
Q: Why did you decide to bring tip411 to Lynn?
A: Over the years we’ve seen a mindset among the population of not wanting to get involved and not wanting to cooperate. We found tip411 to be a conduit to get information while allowing people to remain anonymous. As technology gets better, more and more people in our community communicate via text. We wanted to tap into that rather than making people pick up a phone and call. The custom app tip411 built for us is making a huge difference in getting tips as well.
Q: Anything you would tell other agencies considering tip411? A: We’re absolutely getting tips we wouldn’t have gotten without this system. It’s a great asset for our department. It gets us into the younger, tech savvy generation. Once they send us a tip, it’s out there, and they can’t take it back. The two-way communication is great because we can ask questions and many people respond back with more information so we can deploy our resources. Tip411 has been a huge help to our people. Unlike our anonymous phone tip line where we can’t ask that next question to get more information, we can and do with tip411. Almost everyone has a cell phone, they can take pictures and send things to you and they do, and it’s instant. If you can get them to tip you on some stuff, you can get them to tip you on bigger, more important stuff, too. tip411 has been a great investment for us in terms of gaining information and communicating with our public. If you’re not on it, you’re missing out on the opportunity for some really great information to help solve crimes.
Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A: On March 21stwe got a tip about a Level 3 Sex Offender that was living in our community near an elementary school. The subject was confirmed as unregistered in our city as required, more investigation was done and charges were filed for failure to register. This is the type of thing we want to know, and we were able to take action as a result of the tip. We have a wide variety of crimes, and when our PIO sends something out to the newspapers, on Twitter, and on Facebook, we always put the tip411 information on it. We include video stills when we can, and we get a fair amount of tips that lead us to who the person or persons are.
Q: Any success working with other jurisdictions through tip411?
A: We received a tip not long ago about a guy wanted on a sexual assault crime. The tipster told us he was living at an address in Pensacola, Florida, and we reached out to Pensacola PD and they were able to apprehend the guy.
Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A: Tips come in to the patrol division and the commanding officer is responsible for monitoring them. There are several other people in the department, including myself, who have access to the tips and can monitor them on their phone in case it’s something that needs immediate action. For example, we’ve had complaints of children possibly being neglected and it comes through and patrol has gone right out and done checks on the addresses and acted swiftly when required.
Q: What have you done to brand and promote the tip411 system in Lynn to make your residents aware of it?
A: We promote tip411 through our website, with community groups, and include the tip411 information on anything we’re asking for the public’s assistance on. We have business cards with our tip411 information on them as well that we hand out to community members.We have some vice situations that I’m concerned could turn violent, so I’m working on a campaign to reach out to that at-risk community specifically with information about tip411 and how they can share information with us to protect their and others’ safety anonymously without having to identify themselves.
Q: Have you noticed an increase in the number of tips your department is receiving and cases you are solving since implementing tip411?
A: I just looked at the numbers and since we began partnering with tip411 in 2014, we’ve gotten over 3,000 tips. We love the feature of the two-way communication and people being allowed to include photo/video tips. The vast majority we receive are about narcotics activity, and I’ll frequently respond back to the tipster asking for more information. We do get information back that has resulted in very successful investigations. These types of successful investigations can be directly attributed to the tip411 service.
Q: What types of tips/situations have you seen tip411 be most useful for in Lynn? A: A good thing about the texts is that they can’t take it back. Sometimes people reach out with information in the heat of the moment while they’re angry or upset, and we have that information in digital form. tip411 is definitely useful for narcotics and for vice crimes as well.
tip411 interviewed Public Information Officer Allison Hudson of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana.
Q: How has the tip411 system aided your agency? A: It’s been a great tool for residents to have another way to submit tips and our’s is used a lot. With tip411, if they want to reach us anonymously, they can. We’ve done several programs through tip411, like a few years ago when we were having a string of pharmacy break-ins, we met with them and signed them up on tip411 to share information. Another way is we’ve used tip411 in our school system for bullying.
Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind? A: We had a homicide in 2014 that was a 16 year old kid who went missing and we received a tip from someone who noticed some similarities with a known person. Long story short he provided information to help us solve the crime and he and others were arrested in conjunction with the homicide.
Q: Tell us about your community, agency, and how you heard about tip411? A: We have about 120,000 people in the parish, with 350 employees at the Sheriff’s Office.We heard about tip411, did a free demo, and we signed up from there.
Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)? A: I monitor all of the tips and the 24/7 dispatch center monitors them outside of normal business hours. All of our lieutenants and captains have access to these tips as well. If we’re working a homicide, a detective will be assigned to checking those tips real-time. Every division head has access and are responsible for checking and responding to tips and they send me an email to let me know if a tip can be closed out or not. I keep a list of how many cases are solved based on tips that are received. We also have a School Security Division and the lieutenant checks those tips and will send it to the officers stationed in schools if tips pertain to their school.
Q: What have you done to brand and promote the tip411 system in your community to make your residents aware of it? A: Related to use in schools for bullying, we made it so every computer’s first screen when students login is about reporting a tip using tip411. It has the number and instructions on how to do it. We’ve also done billboards, advertising in the newspaper, digital ads, etc. for people to submit a tip. We also use and have success with CrimeStoppers and we have a card we give out to residents at community police events, during violent crimes, or anything that we might be looking for related to crime in neighborhoods, and one side has the tip411 information and the other side has CrimeStoppers. It definitely has worked. We also share information on our social media channels and in every press release I send out about a crime, I put information about how to submit tips through tip411.
Q: Have you noticed an increase in the number of tips your agency is receiving and cases you are solving since implementing tip411? A: We get two types of tips – narcotics tips and bullying tips. Narcotics tips are pretty steady, but when I put out warrant alerts in the newspaper, we see a jump. I see about a 98% rate for tips when I put out information about Narcotics warrants. Bullying tips pickup at the beginning of school, over breaks, and at the end of the year.
Q: Can you tell me more about your success with tip411 in schools? A: We’ve had several tips where students share information about threats and our crisis response team goes to the schools and arrests are made. We get screenshots of Snapchats, Instagram messages/posts, things we would never find without tip411. School administrators and staff see it as useful and teachers have used tip411 to share information as well. We talk to the student body about how to use it at assemblies, what it’s used for, not to use it incorrectly and what the consequences are. We have cards specifically made for students to explain to them, in a simple way, how to use tip411.
Q: Any advice for other agencies considering tip411? A: I think it’s a good tool to use. We found that people really do just want to submit information and remain anonymous. If you use it correctly – if you go through the webinars, and the trainings, and actually get officers and businesses involved, get residents signed up – it will work for your agency and community.
tip411 interviewed Britnee White of Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation Drug Enforcement in North Dakota.
Q: How has the tip411 system aided your agency?
A: If it wasn’t for tip411, many of the tips we’ve received would not have come to us. People on the reservation not want to be a narc, but they do want to be able to get information to the right people in law enforcement. We have a 1-800 phone line, we tell people they can call and be anonymous, but they don’t trust it like they do tip411.We can communicate with tipsters via text and through custom branded apps made just for our community.
Q: Any advice for other agencies considering tip411?
A: I would strongly suggest other agencies look into getting this for their department, their reservation, whatever. From our standpoint it’s opened our eyes to the power of technology in community engagement. People are more likely to send in a text than walk in or call us with information. Because of that it’s made us more successful in being able to get one more piece of the puzzle that helps us finish a case. I’m proud of our tip411 program and that they noticed us and the work we’re doing with it at MHA Nation.
Q: Tell us about your community and your agency (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A: Our agency is fairly new and the first of its kind. We’re tribally funded, and there are 6 communities on the reservation of approximately 1,000 acres under our jurisdiction. We started MHA Drug Enforcement started in 2015, and have a mixture of patrol agents with K-9s that do interdiction on the reservation and our special agents that do case management. We have about 16,000 enrolled members on our reservation but have a lot of non-natives that live on the reservation as well. A total of 6 counties intersect with the reservation.
Q: How did you hear about tip411?
A: tip411 was purchased for us a few years ago through a grant from Dr. Monica Mayer, our North Segment Representative, and, since we were a fairly new agency focused specifically on drugs, it was decided our agency would be the best fit to utilize the program.
Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A: As the office manager/IT person/support person, I am the main administrator of tip411 who handles tips that come in. One of my responsibilities is to transfer tips within the agency to the best agent to follow up on it. When tips come in they are received by the supervisors and directors so they can interact with them as well. If I know there’s a current case, something a tip is related to, I’ll assign it to the specific agent working on that case. If a tip comes it at 1am on a Saturday, I’m monitoring it. We actually had a tip that came in at 3am and when the tip came in I got a text alert that the tipster was sending information and pictures through tip411. This was real-time information that was coming in about drugs being transported through the reservation.I transferred it to one of our agents and they were able to go out and make a successful arrest on a warrant that was issued for the driver of the vehicle.
Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A: With tip411, we’ve had tips come in that have contributed to several indictments. In one case we had 20 tips that came in about one person that contributed to their indictment as well.
Q: What have you done to brand and promote the tip411 system in your community to make your residents aware of it?
A: I try to reinforce the anonymity of tip411 on all of our advertisements for it.We have an information screen that’s seen throughout the reservation and we put the tip411 information on there, we put flyers out to everyone through our email lists, ask people to post it in their community centers, we have it on our Facebook page, it’s on the MHA Nation website, we’ve made business cards, and we’ve been sharing this information at community meetings. We also go out and do educational presentations for schools, staff, our public safety services, and when we do that I ask people, “does everyone have a cell phone?” and then I tell them to pull it out and I walk them through downloading the app and how to use it. Once I do that, we always see a spike in the number of tips we receive.
Q: Have you noticed an increase in the number of tips your agency is receiving and cases you are solving since implementing tip411?
A: Our community members are using it as a vehicle to be heard – it’s not always just drug tips – we’ve gotten tips about child protective situations, tips about people having warrants, etc. With the upgrade of being able to pass on information to another department I’ve started utilizing it to pass tips along to the appropriate agencies outside of MHA Nation to follow up on. They really appreciate it because they know the information they’re getting from us is good and actionable as we’ve always been a reliable partner to our neighboring agencies.
Q: What types of tips/situations have you seen tip411 be most useful for in your community?
A: When we first started, we were seeing issues related to meth, but the goal has been to try to eradicate any drug dealings that are being done on the reservation. What we’re finding now is a wide range of pill use, opioids, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and meth again. Recently its gotten much more serious – we’ve had 4 fatal overdoses in the last month related to fentanyl as well as 2 overdoses that were able to be brought back to consciousness.
A tip to Atlantic City’s anonymous texting system led to drugs, guns and five arrests.
Thursday morning, police received texts from an unknown person to tip411 that handguns were inside a room at the Madison Hotel, Sgt. Kevin Fair said.
That sparked an investigation by Detective Ermindo Marsini at the hotel on the beach block of Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Abdul Bobo-Moore, 22, ran when detectives tried to stop him leaving the hotel, Fair said.
He didn’t get far, and had heroin on him, according to the charges, which include possession with intent to distribute and obstruction of justice.
In an apartment inside the Madison, police arrested four teenagers, Fair said.
Azyiah Henry, 18, of Mays Landing, was charged with possession, possession with intent to distribute and possession within 500 feet of a public zone.
Omar Law, 18, of Atlantic City and a 17-year-old Mays Landing girl were charged with drug possession. The girl also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
A 16-year-old boy, also from Mays Landing, was found in possession of a loaded handgun magazine.
Detectives also found a loaded handgun inside the apartment. That will be sent to the
New Jersey State Police crime lab for further analysis, Fair said.
Detectives recovered 110 individual bags of heroin and 25 grams of marijuana in total.
The three adults were released on summonses. The two minors were released to their parents with future court dates.
Tip411 allows people to have an anonymous conversation with police by texting tip411 (847411) beginning with ACPD.
Information may also be called in to police at 609-347-5858.