The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Healthy Acadia to launch a new mobile app, WashingtonCo Sheriff, which allows residents of Washington County to anonymously notify law enforcement about underage drinking and illegal drug use.
A press release from Healthy Acadia states users of WashingtonCo Sheriff can submit tips directly from their smartphone via an anonymous text. Tipsters are encouraged to provide specific details about the location of the violation and the people involved, if possible. The tipster’s name and telephone number will remain completely anonymous.
They said the app is available for both iPhone and Android users and can be downloaded for free via the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.
The sheriff’s office said residents in Washington County without a smartphone may still send an anonymous tip via text message to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office by texting the keyword WCSO and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411) from their cell phone.
An anonymous text led to two arrests and the recovery of a gun and drugs, Atlantic City police said.
Jorge Herrera, 18, of Atlantic City, had a loaded handgun and marijuana when police arrested him after witnessing a drug deal Wednesday, Sgt. Kevin Fair said.
A text about drug sales to the city’s tip411 anonymous texting service led Detectives Will Herrerias and Jeffereson Rivera to the 2300 of Arctic Avenue, where they saw Herrara and another man in a drug deal, according to the report.
Jose Diaz, 38, of Atlantic City, left in a vehicle and was immediately stopped and taken into custody after he was found in possession of marijuana, Fair said.
The detectives then saw Herrera leaving a residence and took him into custody.
He was found in possession of a handgun loaded with hollow-point ammunition, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Fair said. A search of his residence turned up more marijuana for a total of 210 grams.
They also recovered a scale, baggies and $503 in cash.
Diaz was charged with possession and released on a summons.
Herrera is jailed on charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute in a school zone, possession of a weapon while committing a drug offense, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of hollow-point ammunition and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Anonymous tips can be by texting tip411 (847411) beginning the text with ACPD.
tip411 interviewed Sergeant Kevin Fair of the Atlantic City, New Jersey Police Department. Here’s what he had to say about tip411 at ACPD:
Q: Tell us about your community and the Atlantic City Police Department (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A: Atlantic City has about 39,000 residents. However, we receive around 24 million visitors a year.
Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A: tip411 is monitored by personnel in our Communications Bureau and Surveillance Center on a 24/7 basis. There are also select officers that receive tips as they come in.
Q: How has the tip411 system aided your department?
A: tip411 has been a tremendous asset for us. We advertise it to our residents at community events and to our local businesses. In our first full year of use, we received a little over 200 tips. In 2018, we received over 4,200.
Q: You get LOTS of tips, what have you done to promote your tip411 system to make sure residents know about it and use it?
A: We have flyers available during community events. We will always routinely use the mobile app while giving presentations. We allow residents to see what we see, because some are skeptical that it’s anonymous. Also, at the end of every news release, the tip411 information is contained in the last paragraph. Information on tip411 will be provided at certain crime scenes.
Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A: Arrests are frequently made off of tips that are received. Many of the tips are for narcotic related activity. The tips will aid in our detective’s investigations.
Q: You always make great use of our alerting feature – what do you typically send alerts out about and approximately how many residents do you reach with them?
A: We send alerts about weather events and general information from the police department that the public needs to know about. That would include; news releases, hirings/promotions, events, etc.
Q: The Atlantic City Police Department has used tip411 for many years, why is it so important for you to have anonymous tip capabilities? A: We police an environment where we need an anonymous service to aid us in our fight against crime. We will get information from witnesses that we may not get otherwise. This has allowed us to solve more than 75 percent of our non-fatal shooting investigations over the last several years.
Q: The department is about to launch our new tip411 Select option – which allows your information to be translated into 40 languages – why is this so important to APD and the communities you serve?
A: Atlantic City is a melting pot of different nationalities who speak a litany of languages. Being able to interact with particular segments of the community that we would not have otherwise is definitely a great advantage.
Below is just one recent example of Atlantic City Police being aided by tip411 to solve a violent crime, then using their tip411 alert feature to share that success with the media and public.
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.