New crime tip line launched in Bennington County

A new tool will help put the power to fight crime in the palm of Bennington County residents’ hands.

An anonymous tip reporting program, powered by a free smartphone app, has been launched through the Bennington County Sheriff Department and The Collaborative. The app will help residents submit anonymous tips to law enforcement agencies, as well as receive alerts with their smartphone, according to Detective Sgt. Lloyd Dean.

Details of the new initiative were discussed at a press conference at the sheriff’s headquarters Monday morning. The free smartphone app is available for Android and iPhone mobile devices.

Dean said among the crimes the department and Collaborative are encouraging people to send tips for include burglaries, illegal drug activity, a party where underage youth are consuming alcohol, and bullying.

The initiative is one piece of a grant-funded partnership program to combat substance abuse, said Victoria Silsby with The Collaborative’s substance prevention program. The Collaborative is the lead organization for the five-year federally funded partnership program; funding is funneled from the state Department of Health.

“We think this county-wide approach sends a clear message that Bennington County is committed to reducing substance use and engages in substance use prevention initiatives,” she said.

Minnesota-based CitizenObserver created the tip411 tool, according to the company’s website. Law enforcement, schools, call centers and emergency management in over 1,000 communities use the company’s tools.

The app users should download here is called “BenningtonCo Sheriff” in the Android and iPhone app stores; it comes up with a search of “tip411 Bennington.” Once downloaded, a user can send a completely anonymous tip to an account that’s monitored through the sheriff’s department.

Read the full story from the Bennington Banner

Tips from the Public Help St. Pete Police Identify Suspect

Tips from the public have led police to identify the woman they say followed and beat up a 69-year-old woman at her home as 34-year-old Leslie Broadfoot.

Police say that surveillance video inside a Marathon gas station on 10th Avenue N shows Broadfoot shortly before the beat-down. It was Sept. 9 and people were rushing around Tampa Bay to get last-minute supplies and fill their tanks before Hurricane Irma.

Police said Broadfoot asked the 69-year-old to buy her fuel in exchange for helping unload her car with hurricane supplies from Lowes.

Broadfoot and another person followed the woman to her home.

Then instead of offering the promised help, police say Broadfoot hit the other woman repeatedly and stole her purse.

Surveillance video from the 69-year-old woman’s house shows a white Jeep or SUV leaving the property after the robbery.

Broadfoot has a lengthy criminal history including drug and theft convictions, court records show.

Police are asking for help finding Broadfoot. People with any information can call 727-893-7780 or text the keyword “SPPD” and an anonymous tip to 847-411 (Tip-411.)

See the full report & video from the Tampa Bay Times.

Anonymous tip leads to drugs, gun arrest in Atlantic City

An anonymous tip to Atlantic City Police on Friday resulted in a drug investigation and the arrest of a 62-year-old man.

The anonymous tipster alerted police earlier in the day about narcotic activity near the 900 block of North Carolina Avenue. Police executed a search warrant there and found 468 bags of heroin, a handgun, a ballistic vest and $58,000 believed to be proceeds from narcotics trafficking.

Terrence Collier, 62, of Atlantic City, was charged with drug possession, possession with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon during a drug offense, certain persons not to possess a weapon, obstruction of justice and resisting arrest.

Collier was taken to the Atlantic County jail.

Atlantic City Police urge the community and visitors to submit information using tip411 (847411). Begin the text with ACPD. Information can also be submitted by calling 609-347-5858.

Read the full story from the Press of Atlantic City

New ‘tip411’ app to let the public help Hamden police anonymously

A new smartphone app will let town residents be part of the police force, allowing allow anyone who downloads it to send anonymous tips and get alerts about crime in the community.

The Legislative Council this week approved funds for the police department to purchase the app.

“We know people are scared or intimidated,” Police Chief Thomas Wydra said. “This is the perfect tool to overcome that fear. It’s a way to encourage people to engage with us.”

The app, called tip411, lets a user submit crime tips anonymously, which alleviates a fear some have of getting involved with police. A user also can include photos or video.

Another feature allows the department to send out alerts to the community about crimes in the area. The alerts can be categorized by type of crime and can be directed at particular communities and neighborhoods. Through the app, a person with information can also add a tip to a specific alert.

“We want to connect with everybody, but certain groups are timid,” Wydra said. He said he is thinking specifically about schoolchildren and people with questionable immigration status who may have a heightened fear of interacting with police. “The app reaches them,” he said.

Read the full story in the New Haven Register

Protecting the environment through your cell phone

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has released an app that allows you to make anonymous reports and tips to them. The app also allows you to post photos and videos. Also, unlike DLNR’s old answering machine where tips were not always documented, the app that launched today, stores it’s history.

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Watch the report from KITV, Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather – KITV Channel 4

Education Matters: No room for bullying in schools

…An important part of responding to bullying is to know when it is happening. Teachers and administrators are trained in the ‘4 A Response’, through PBIS, how to Affirm a student giving a report, Ask the right questions, Assess the report or threat, and Act on the information appropriately.

Students are provided ways to report bullying, including telling a trusted adult, using a paper method in the front office, or by using the Tip411 text or email app. While all students are encouraged to talk candidly with counselors, teachers, administrators, coaches or other adults they trust, many opt for more anonymous methods like Tip411.

The app is offered in partnership with Napa and American Canyon police departments and the Napa County Sheriff, and allows students to anonymously report bullying, suicide threats, crimes or other situations to school administrators and law enforcement, who can move quickly to investigate any unsafe incidents.

And, of course, we encourage parents to be vigilant for signs of bullying or bullying behavior, and to report concerns to a teacher and principal…

Read the full post from the Napa Valley Unified School District in the Napa Valley Register

Barrera announces new ‘tip411’ smartphone app for anonymous messages to sheriff’s office

The Highland County Sheriff’s Office now allows the public to share important public safety information anonymously with law enforcement by sending them a secure text message about crimes or suspicious activity in Highland County via a free smartphone app.

The Highland County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that it is launching “tip411,” an internet-based tool from Citizen Observer that enables the public to text message an anonymous tip to law enforcement and lets the officers respond back, creating an anonymous two-way conversation. The app can be downloaded for free via the Google Play store and iTunes App Store. Enter Highland County Sheriff in the search bar.

In addition, anyone with a cell phone may send an anonymous tip to the Highland County Sheriff’s office by texting HCSHERIFF and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous web tips can be submitted right from the sheriff’s office website at http://www.highlandcoso.com.

The Text Tips App and tip411 anonymous text-a-tip system are 100 percent anonymous, as the technology removes all identifying information before law enforcement officers see the tips and there is no way to identify the sender.

“We believe the public is our greatest law enforcement resource,” said sheriff Donnie Barrera, adding that “tip411 allows a safe and secure way for community members to share important information with law enforcement without the fear of retribution.”

Read more from The Times-Gazette

Smartphone app helps fight crime in Crow Wing County

Smartphone apps have uses ranging from checking the weather to watching movies to reading about the latest breaking news, and everything in between. Now Crow Wing County residents can download an app that lets them send crime tips to the sheriff’s department and communicate with local law enforcement from anywhere while remaining anonymous.

Tip411 is a program that has been gaining popularity in the lakes area over the last eight months. After downloading the CWCS Mobile app on an iPhone or Android device, users can simply submit anonymous tips relating to any criminal or suspicious activity directly to the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office.

And that’s not all.

“The cool thing with this feature is people can still remain anonymous if they wish, but we’re allowed to communicate back with them. So that’s where we can add the additional questions,” said Capt. Scott Goddard, of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office.

The app allows the investigator receiving the tips to respond to the tipster and ask follow-up questions.

“They’ll text us in something very vague, like, ‘Vehicles coming or going late at night from a residence,'” Goddard said. “And then our follow-up questions might be, ‘Well, can you give us descriptions of the vehicle?’ or ‘What times are the vehicles coming and going?'”

Read the full story from the Pineandlakes Echo Journal

Text through Cheektowaga’s tip411 results in two drug arrests

Two people were arrested on multiple drug charges Wednesday night after police received an anonymous tip through the department’s tip411 texting service.

The anonymous text was sent to the department around 7 p.m. saying that a car was parked on Oakwood Drive in the town’s South Line district and several people were smoking drugs.

“Officers Chris Wierzbowski and Mike Menth responded and found two people in the car and then discovered a baggie with crack cocaine at the feet of the occupants.  Further investigation led to the discovery of multiple envelopes of heroin, a crack pipe, and several hypodermic needles,” said James Speyer, Assistant Chief of Police.

Police arrested and charged Jessica Seiler, 22 of Tristan Lane, Williamsville and Dillon Butchart, 25 of Pleasant Ave, Depew with three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument.

Read the full story in the Cheektowaga Chronicle.

Interview with Delhi Township: Part II

tip411 interviewed Chief Jim Howarth of the Delhi Township Police Department in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is part two of our three-part conversation.

PART II

Q: How has the tip411 system aided your department?
A:
tip411 has been well received by both my officers and our residents. It’s one of the best things that have happened to us – We can’t be everywhere all the time, but we have 30,000 residents that have eyes that can help us find things. It could be that 1 tip or call that solves a string of burglaries, and we need our residents help as much as they need ours.

When I took over as Police Chief in 2008, others before me didn’t think they needed to share information with the public. I think people need to know things do happen in Delhi, when they happen, and not wait a week to see it in the paper. We need to inform the public and push information out to have them help us solve crimes as they are happening, and we are doing that now thanks to tip411.

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A:
When we put out surveillance pictures to try to identify who suspects are – whether it be for a theft, assault, armed robbery – there’s only 1 case I can remember where we’ve NEVER received any tips. All of the other hundreds of cases we’ve asked the public for help on we’ve received tips and were able to identify the suspect.

Literally within 5 minutes we’re getting tips with information. It’s tremendous as far as being able to recover property and hold criminals accountable.

One case I can remember was when we put out information after an elderly gentleman left his card in an ATM. We saw that the person that came to the ATM after him grabbed the card and then we traced that it was used at a nearby supermarket shortly thereafter. We put the suspect’s picture out around 7pm and 15 seconds later the clerk in my office asked me if I sent an alert. I told her I just hit send and she told me we had already received a tip from someone telling us they saw the alert, looked at the image, and realized it was a former coworker of theirs.

I don’t put out tons of stuff because I don’t want people to get tired of it, but I use it when we need to and it’s always been a great help. I also like to do follow up posts to let people know we were able to identify the suspect and solve a crime thanks to their help.

The only negative thing I’ve heard is…if we were to get rid of tip411, a lot of residents would be upset. Luckily, if we ever lost funding, I’m confident I could go to outside sourcing like business associations in our community because they love it and I’m sure they’d help us fund it.

Q: Your department also partners with Crime Stoppers. Can you talk about how you use Crime Stoppers and how tip411 can augment it?
A: They’re very similar in nature. Crime Stoppers give rewards out and for the most part tips that come through tip411 we don’t give out rewards. Sometimes while communicating back and forth through tip411 we realize the tipster may have good information but aren’t giving it up easy, so continue to get information we will say, “hey, if this pans out and we make an arrest, we will reach out to Crime Stoppers and get a reward for you.”

Most tips we get are coming in anonymously through tip411. I say anonymously but many people are comfortable putting their name and number in the message they send to us as well. More come through tip411 than via phone, but it’s a good mix.

Some people, I understand, are hesitant to contact police because they think there may be retribution for sharing information with us, but we have a community that wants to help and they do – dramatically. With tip411 there’s much less “us vs. them.” Residents now feel like they’re a part of the department.

 

Check back next week for the third and final part of our conversation with Chief Howarth. Missed Part I? Click here to read it.