Enid Police Department launches new tip411 app, anonymous tip system

Enid Police Department is increasing its crime-fighting arsenal with a new app to help residents connect with the department to find information, view alerts and submit anonymous tips from their smartphones.

Developed by tip411, the Enid PD app puts a powerful new crime-fighting tool into the hands of community members. The Enid PD app is available for download for free via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store or by going to the Enid Police Department website at www.enid.org/police.

“We at the Enid Police Department are committed to working in partnership with the community we serve to make Enid a great place to live and raise a family,” said Chief Brian O’Rourke. “We believe our new Enid PD app from tip411 will help make it easier for our residents to partner with us to help fight crime.”

The Enid PD app enables the public to share an anonymous tip with police and lets officers respond back to create an anonymous two-way conversation.

“We’ve listened to feedback from partners like Enid police and have built a more advanced and innovative product to help departments better engage their communities,” said tip411 President Terry Halsch. “The Enid PD app, powered by tip411, will greatly improve the residents’ access to their local police department.”

The Enid PD app and tip411 anonymous text a tip system are 100% anonymous. The technology removes all identifying information before police see the tips and there is no way to identify the sender.

Residents in Enid without a smartphone can share information with police by sending an anonymous text tip via their cellphone to police by texting keyword EPDTIP and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411).

Anonymous web tips also can be submitted through the department’s website at www.enid.org/police.

Framingham Police Cruiser

Framingham Police Launch Anonymous Tip Line Via Tip411 App

The Framingham Police Department is increasing its crime-fighting arsenal with a new app to help residents connect with the

department to find information, view alerts, and submit anonymous tips from their smartphone.

Developed by tip411, the Framingham PD app puts a powerful new crime-fighting tool into the hands of community members of all ages. The Framingham PD app is available for download for free via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, or by visiting the Framingham Police Department website at www.framinghamma.gov/police.

“The Framingham Police Department is charged with protecting and serving those who live, work, and travel in Framingham.,” said Chief Steven Trask of the Framingham Police Department. “Working together with our residents can have the greatest impact on safety, and I believe the new Framingham PD app from tip411 will help make it easier for residents to share information to help protect their community.”

The new Framingham PD app enables the public to share an anonymous tip with police and lets officers respond back to create an anonymous two-way conversation.

“We’ve listened to feedback from partners like Framingham Police and have built a more advanced and innovative product to help departments better engage their communities,” said tip411 President Terry Halsch. “The Framingham PD app, powered by tip411, will greatly improve the public’s access to agency alerts, social media channels, important information, and more to help fight crime.”

The Framingham PD app and tip411 anonymous text a tip system are 100% anonymous, as the technology removes all identifying information before police see the tips and there is no way to identify the sender.

Residents in Framingham without a smartphone can share information with police by sending an anonymous text tip via their cell phone to police by texting keyword FPDTIPS and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous web tips can also be submitted through the department’s website at www.framinghamma.gov/police.

Read the full story from FraminghamSource.com

Help Fight Crime

LISTEN: Johnstown Police Chief Talks New Tip Line – tip411

Johnstown Police Chief Robert Johnson talks to his local radio station about tip411.

tip411 is a new program, a text system to report drug and suspicious activity in your area.

Chief Johnson talks how to get the app and how to text a tip.

The program has already been a success; people are already using it to help their community.

Check out their interview with Johnstown Police Chief Robert Johnson at ForeverJohnstown.com

Halloween Safety Tips

Poughkeepsie PD Shares Halloween Tips for Parents

In advance of Halloween, the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department in New York used their tip411 alerting capability to send an email and text message directly to residents with Halloween Safety Tips for Parents:

Halloween Tips for Parents

Thursday, Oct. 31, is Halloween! Here are some safety tips for parents:

  • Make sure costumes fit well and that they are short enough to prevent tripping.
  • Consider using hypoallergenic make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct your child’s vision.
  • Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Make certain costumes are flame-retardant.
  • Trick-or-treaters should have a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children; older kids should trick-or-treat in groups.
  • Set a time when your children should be home and know what route they plan to take.
  • Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars. Children should not approach homes where the front lights are not turned on.
  • Remind your children to stay on the sidewalk and not cut across yards or through alleys; remind them to cross streets only at corners and never from between parked cars.
  • Do not allow your children to consume their treats until they have checked by an adult at home. Throw away any unwrapped or spoiled items. Give any candy that could be a choking hazard (such as hard candies) to older children.

See the alert from Poughkeepsie PD

Panama City Police Safety App

Panama City Police Department launches ‘tip411’ alert system app

Reporting crime just got a little easier. The Panama City Police Department just launched an app called ‘tip411’ that allows the public to directly communicate with the investigators and officers at the station.

“If we have a situation to where we are actively investigating a case or we have a rash of burglaries or crimes within the area, this app gives us the ability to push out this information to the people residing in that area and for them to communicate information of stuff that they might see back to us,” said Investigative Services Lieutenant Chris Edmunson.

The app allows the investigator to communicate back and forth to the tipster, and it is all completely anonymous.

“Once the citizen sumits the tip to us, it immediately comes to us right there and the investigator assigned to that case will have the opportunity to immediately review it and then ask questions to that tipster,” Edmunson said.

This idea came from one of the police department captains and later being developed by Detective Kristian Shaw. It is an easy process.

“This allows them to a little bit of anonimity to come forward and to provide us with this information to follow up on some of these cases we’re working,” Edmunson said.

While living in a tech-savvy world, the department feels that this app will enhance the community’s safety.

“This is how people communicate nowadays,” Edmunson said. “They communicate through phones, through texts and through apps just like this, so I think it is going to enhance that communication between us and the citizens.”

The app is up and running and free in the Apple Store and Android Store. If you do not have a smartphone, you can still submit a tip on the city of Panama City’s website.

See full story from MyPanhandle.com

Abbeville Police New Anonymous Tip App

Abbeville Police Department rolls out new app to help fight crime

The Abbeville Police Department has rolled out a new app to aid in fighting crime.

According to the department, the app, Tip 411, will help residents connect with police to find information, view alerts, and submit anonymous tips from their smartphones and devices.

“Only together, can we keep Abbeville safe,” said Chief William Spearman of the Abbeville Police Department. “Working together, we are more likely to make lasting improvements in the safety of our community, I believe the new Abbeville PD app from tip411 will help better connect our department to our residents.”

The new app, according to officials will enable the public to share an anonymous tip with police and let officers respond back to create an anonymous two-way conversation. Residents without a smartphone can share information with police by sending an anonymous text tip via their cell phone to police by texting keyword APDTIPS and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411).

The Abbeville PD app is available for download for free via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, by visiting the Abbeville Police Department website at www.abbevillepd.com, or the official Abbeville PD Facebook page .

See the full story from KATC 3

Waxahachie ISD

Waxahachie ISD launches anonymous crime reporting app

Students of the Waxahachie Independent School District can now anonymously report suspicious activities using their cellphones.

tip411 allows students, staff, parents and the wider community to ” to share important safety information anonymously with district and campus administrators by sending them secure messages with information about bullying, drug use, and suspicious or potentially criminal activity via a free smartphone app,” according to a Friday press release.

“When a tip comes in, it will go to the campus administrator, our district head of security, our superintendent and the executive director of secondary or elementary learning, depending on if the tip is for an elementary or secondary campus,” District Spokesperson Jenny Bridges said.

The Waxahachie ISD says the free mobile app allows students and staff to play a role in keeping their schools safe without fear of retribution.

“Waxahachie ISD students excel in every area, from academics to fine arts to athletics and more,” said Dr. Bonny Cain, Waxahachie ISD Superintendent. “But our students can’t achieve if they don’t feel safe, and we believe the tip411 anonymous reporting system will add another level of safety and security to our campuses.”

The launch comes on the heels of an incident at Midlothian High School on Sept. 6 where the school went into lockdown after two students reported to staff what the District called “a possible threat.” The lockdown lasted several hours while police, dressed in combat gear and carrying heavy machinery, combed the building.

“We always encourage our students if they see or hear something to say something,” said Midlothian Independent School District Superintendent Lane Ledbetter in a statement posted on Facebook hours after the lockdown was lifted. “These two students did just that – reported what they thought they saw and heard.”

“After a long and thorough investigation, the Midlothian Police Department deemed the threat was unsubstantiated,” Ledbetter added.

tip411 is already being used by schools, police departments and community groups across the country. Critics of the app, however, say the system might become overwhelmed with frivolous tips that will take away the attention of investigators from serious incidents.

“The tip411 system has been successful in communities across the U.S.,” said Terry Halsch, president of tip411, in the release. “We are excited to work with Waxahachie ISD to bring our innovative app and text a tip system to connect and engage students directly to participate in promoting safety in their halls.”

Those without the app can still text anonymously by sending a message to 847411, beginning with a keyword linked to the school they are reporting about.

Read the full story from WaxahachieTX.com

Lynn Police Massachusetts

“We’re absolutely getting tips we wouldn’t have gotten without this system. It’s a great asset for our department.”

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.

Groesbeck Police Cruiser

Interview: Groesbeck, Texas Police

tip411 interviewed Chief Chris Henson of the Groesbeck Police Department about his and his department’s experience with our system.

Q: Tell us about your community and your agency (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A: Groesbeck is a small community in rural Central Texas. Our population is approximately 4,500 and we have a sworn staff of 10 officers. We are located in Limestone County which has a total population of approximately 25,000.

Q: How did you hear about tip411?
A: We originally subscribed to another free service and looked at upgrading to gain more features and benefits. The cost was relatively high for a department our size so I started researching other programs that were more cost-effective and provided additional services. I found tip411 and researched it for several weeks before making the initial inquiry.

Q: Any advice for other agencies considering tip411?
A: tip411 is a great program and will be as successful as you allow it to be. While cost is definitely a factor for an agency our size, it is well worth the money for the customized app and the benefits the program provides. If you’re going to invest in the program, I strongly recommend using it to its full potential.

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A: We are a relatively low-crime city so we don’t typically have the high profile offenses that our larger counterparts deal with. A large number of our tips concern drug information, routine complaints, and school-related issues. We’ve made several significant narcotic cases with the help of information provided to us through tip411.

We have also partnered with the local school district so the students have the ability to report threats of violence, bullying, or any other offense that occurs at school. When those tips are received, they are immediately forwarded to the campus principal for response unless the complaint requires an immediate police action. We received one tip last year that concerned a threat of potential violence at the local high school. The threat was received on a social media platform by one of the students, and someone from within the school was aware of the threat and immediately forwarded it to tip411. We were able to work with the administration to place the school in a lock-down mode until we could confirm the threat. The investigation led to the suspect who was in another county and not an imminent threat to the school. That tip alone made the program worth every dollar.

Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A: Since we are a small department, I’m able to process the tips that come in. I have a detective assigned to an administrator role as well but I primarily handle the intake and dissemination of tip information.

Q: How has the tip411 system aided your agency?
A: Since we are a small city, citizens find it difficult to come forward and provide information for fear of being identified by other members of the public. tip411 has given them an avenue to provide information to us without revealing their identity. It has also given our youth the ability to have school-related issues addressed without the stigma of reporting to the principal’s office.

Q: What have you done to brand and promote the tip411 system in your community to make your residents aware of it?
A: We promote the program as often as possible. We typically post our tip411 community alerts to our Facebook page so the reference to tip411 is always made. We’ve done multiple newspaper articles about the program as well as community events and school training on its use.

Q: Have you noticed an increase in the number of tips your agency is receiving and cases you are solving since implementing tip411?
A: I’ve noticed the number of tips increase the more comfortable people get with the level of anonymity. Again, we are a relatively low-crime city so most of our tips revolve around narcotics use or routine, every day complaints. We have some tipsters who use the program instead of going through the dispatch center for normal complaints. That was not our intended purpose, but I don’t want to discourage anyone from using the program so we take any information that is provided to us and handle it accordingly.

Q: What types of tips/situations have you seen tip411 be most useful for your community?
A: It has proven most useful in combatting narcotics within our city and addressing issues within our school district.