Southwest Metro Drug Task Force seeks tips by app and text

A suburban drug task force is the latest Minnesota law enforcement agency to use texting and mobile apps to attract would-be tipsters.

Last week, the Southwest Metro Drug Task Force activated its “SWMTip” app, powered by St. Paul-based technology company tip411, for residents to submit anonymous tips and photos from their smartphones.

Phil Nawrocki, a Scott County Sheriff’s Office commander, said the first tip arrived within a day of launching the app. The task force joined more than 30 other Minnesota agencies using tip411 after noting how often it gathered information from mobile photos or text messages, Nawrocki said.

“Rather than have the individual go back home, sit down and try to find our e-mail address and contact info, they have a cellphone in their hand that can directly send confidential information to us,” Nawrocki said.

The Southwest Metro Drug Task Force covers Scott, Carver and McLeod counties as well as the cities of Excelsior, Greenwood, Shorewood and Tonka Bay.

Tip411’s apps keep tipsters anonymous by assigning them a six-character alias to be used when communicating with authorities, said tip411 President Terry Halsch. The company also has a “text-a-tip” system that is used by roughly 1,400 agencies around the country, he said.

Read the full story from the Star Tribune…

Use tip411 to Share Program, Event Information & to Promote National Night Out

You know to use tip411 to share community alerts about crime and public safety information, but did you know tip411 can be a great tool for sharing program and event information?

Brooklyn Park Police in Minnesota recently sent the following notice using tip411 to let their community know about upcoming plans to participate in National Night Out:

Register Now for National Night Out!

Celebrate National Night Out on Tuesday, August 4th!  Brooklyn Park’s National Night Out (NNO) program is nationally recognized and continuously earns awards every year.

National Night Out is the cornerstone of our crime prevention efforts in Brooklyn Park.

From approximately 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. we ask you to lock your doors, turn on your outside lights and spend the evening with the neighbors. Many neighborhoods host special events such as block parties, cookouts, visits from police, fire and other city officials, youth contests and music.  

Your event does not have to be large or elaborate. It can be as simple as having a conversation in your neighbor’s yard. The important thing is to talk to and get to know your neighbors.

 You must register your neighborhood party to be eligible for one of the city vehicles to visit and to receive a NNO “goodie bag.”  Registration forms must be received by Friday, July 24th.  You may register your National Night Out party by going online to or call Gerry Gibbs at 763-493-8284.  Listed below are the dates and times you can pick up your neighborhood “goodie bag” at the Police Department, 5400 85th Ave. No.:

Saturday, July 25th:  10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 28th:  4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 30st:  4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 ***Please remember we have officers and visitors scheduled until about 8:30 p.m. So if your party disperses before that time you may miss your visitor***

Click here to read the rest of the message from Brooklyn Park PD.