Massena Police Department using new tool to allow anonymous reporting

A new way to anonymously report crime tips in Massena is up and running via an app called tip411.

The Massena Police Department app is available for free download via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, or by visiting the Massena Police Department website at www.MassenaPD.com.

Chief Adam J. Love said one of the biggest benefits is the ability to report information anonymously. He said they realize people are sometimes afraid to call the police with information. But, by using tip411, the system removes all of the identifying information, and police receive no personal information such as name, phone number and address.

The individual app for iPhones or Android phones has a tab for alerts, where alerts will be sent by the police department. Another tab is for “My Tips,” where individuals would be able to anonymously send information to the department. There are also links to the department’s website and Facebook pages, as well as the ability to phone the department from the app.

Anyone who doesn’t have a smart phone can still send anonymous tips through a message. They would text keyword MPDTIP to 847411, add a space, type in their tip information and hit send.

In addition, they can use the Anonymous Web Tip Form from their computer by visiting www.MassenaPD.com.

“The biggest thing is they can send anonymous tips,” Chief Love said. “We want to be able to help connect our police department with the public. This is just one powerful tool that we can use to let people reach out to us. The public is our greatest crime-fighting resource.”

For instance, he said, someone may have a concern about possible drug activity in their neighborhood, bullying, suspicious activity or crime.

“Instead of them worrying about are they going to know who I am, they can send a tip anonymously,” he said.

Chief Love said tip411 is strictly to provide anonymous reports, and isn’t mean for emergencies or urgent need of police assistance. Residents should continue to call 9-1-1- for all emergency situations and, for non-emergency, the department at 3165-769-3577.

In addition to anonymous reporting, the app allows the department to get information out to subscribers instantaneously. He said they the police department can use it for instances such as when they’re looking for information on a person or incident. They can also use it in conjunction with the Massena Volunteer Fire Department to alert subscribers to stay away from an area where a fire is in progress, or the Department of Public Works to let individuals know about a road closure for repair work.

He said information can be disseminated in a short amount of time, even from his cell phone. Alerts can be sent via an email or a text message to the individual’s phone. Chief Love said they’ll also continue to use social media site such as Facebook to pass on information.

“We want to be able to help connect our police department with the public. This is just one powerful tool that we can use that people can reach out to us. With social media, they have the right to limit how far out we go and who receives messages. With tip 411, everybody will get a message,” he said.

“I think this is going to give us a nice connection with our community that supports us so well. I think this is one way to be able to keep that positive connection. We look forward to using it and the community using it,” he said.

Read the full story from NNY360.com

Help Fight Crime Johnstown Police

City police add alert system app to better communicate with public

Tips to and from Johnstown Police Department are now just a click away.

Through a program developed by Minnesota-based CitizenObserver, Johnstown police are launching Tip411 – an interactive alert system “app” that enables both the police and public to alert one another about important public safety issues, police Captain Chad Miller said.

Options such as Push Out the Pusher and the department’s Facebook page have been valuable for tips, Miller said, but people are more comfortable sending a text or photo than leaving a telephone message or identifying themselves on social media.

Because Tip411’s program software doesn’t collect IP addresses, phone numbers or any other identifiers, police only receive messages – unless a tipster decides to offer that information, the company’s creators said.

“We believe an informed community is a safer community,” Miller said.

Johnstown Police serve the city, Dale Borough, Middle Taylor and West Taylor townships. Through the downloadable “app” – or an anonymous text to “tip411” (847-411) – residents can quickly and anonymously send officers tips on unsolved crimes or report drug deals and other suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.

Johnstown Police, meanwhile, can respond to those messages – and post their own “alerts” about incidents such as missing person cases.

It’s a system that’s found crime-solving success in communities such as Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Works elsewhere

Atlantic City Police Department launched the alert system in 2013, Atlantic City Police Sgt. Kevin Fair said.

Back then, the New Jersey department was dealing with a common trend, striving to solve a surging number of street crimes while tips from the public through 911 seemed to be dwindling, police said at the time.

By turning to a third party vendor to manage the system, an environment was developed through Tip411 “for those who want to report a crime to be able to do it without being identified,” Fair told The Tribune-Democrat on Wednesday.

Atlantic City police received 226 tips the first year the alert system was active, he added.

By 2018, the tips had grown to 4,213, Fair said.

“We’ve had people send us messages, pictures and video that have been valuable to our investigations,” he said. “And because of the way the message is collected and delivered (to the department), we don’t know who sent it,” he said.

Signing up

Cincinnati Police Department used its app to notify the public about a missing 60-year-old man with dementia on Monday. A few days earlier, police reached out to the public to help them identify suspects in a city robbery.

In Johnstown, people interested in receiving updates can download the app on both Android and iPhone devices. Links for both phones are provided at www.tip411.com/agencies/johnstownpapd/groups/22072through icons on the left hand side of the page.

People can also text the department by messaging 847-411 with the abbreviation “JPD” in front of the message.

A “tip” link has also been added to the department’s webpage, www.cityofjohnstownpa.net/police

Miller said the program is not meant to replace 911.

Incidents and emergencies such as injuries, vehicle accidents and crimes in progress should be reported directly to 911, he said.

“This isn’t always going to be a 24-7 monitored line. If something occurs that requires immediate assistance, call 911,” Miller said. “What we’re looking for (through tip411) is tips to crimes already committed.”

Johnstown Police are the first department in the region to add the tip411 system.

“We’re trying to lead the way here, when it comes to the way policing is heading in the 21st century,” Miller said.

Drug Bust

tip411 Program Leads To Drug Bust and Two Arrests

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.

Read the full story from the Valley City Times-Record

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

Anonymous Tip Submission Example Tip411

Lake County Sheriff and coalition of parents say tip411 a ‘tool to do the right thing’ in reporting underage drinking parties

With a new text-a-tip program in place supported by the Stand Strong Coalition, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is looking to curb underage drinking parties.

Two reported incidents in recent weeks feature allegations that show what officials are up against.

On Sept. 2, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 42200 block of N. 7th Avenue in unincorporated Antioch and ended up ticketing a 56-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman for hosting an underage drinking party for their children and their friends, according to the sheriff’s office.

On Aug. 9, the sheriff’s office reports deputies were sent to the 38600 block of N. Pine Avenue in Beach Park and ended up ticketing two 19-year-olds for hosting an underage drinking party.

In both instances, the charges were a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, up to two years of probation and a fine of up to $2,500, according to the sheriff’s office. Bail for the four arrested in the two incidents was $1,500, according to records.

The Stand Strong Coalition purchased a four-year membership to “Tip411,” where anyone can anonymously send a message to the sheriff’s office if they have information about where underage drinking or drug use is taking place.

“As a parent in the community and the Executive Director of Stand Strong Coalition, parents and students tell me all of the time that they know where underage drinking is occurring, and they worry for the youth involved,” said Jamie Epstein in a statement.

“However, they have not found a way to share their tips with police in a way that feels comfortable to them,” Epstein added. “We are pleased to partner with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to offer parents and youth this tool to do the right thing when they know of illegal and unsafe activity.”

To report a party where underage alcohol consumption and/or drug use is taking place, residents can send a text message to 847-411.

The body of the text message should start with 123TIP, then the tipster can explain the information they want to share, and officials urge tipsters to include as much information as possible. The sheriff’s office will handle calls in the unincorporated area and pass off tips to the appropriate village or city for their police departments to handle.

“Alcohol and drug use impair one’s ability to make decisions. This is true in adults, but especially true in adolescents and young adults,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said in a statement.

“Statistics show us, underage drinking and drug use leads to higher rates of sexual assault, a higher likelihood of being involved in a fatal or serious traffic crash, as well as other negative consequences. We hope this new partnership with Stand Strong Coalition assists us in getting involved before a tragedy occurs,” he added.

According to authorities, parents and others over 18 years can be held criminally and civilly liable for allowing their property — or a hotel room, rented limo, bus, boat or vehicle — to be used for underage consumption of alcohol.

“It is hoped this initiative will discourage parents from allowing underage drinking and drug use to take place, while reducing the number of youth partaking in these behaviors,” Idleburg said.

Read the full story from the Chicago Tribune

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.

Crime Solvers Tip411

Fairfax County Crime Solvers Partners with tip411

Fairfax County Crime Solvers has partnered with tip411 to introduce a new and innovative crime-fighting tool.

Through a partnership with tip411, information can now be shared anonymously with police via a free smartphone app, text message, or a web tip form.

Fairfax County Crime Solvers encourages anyone with a smartphone to download their free Fairfax Co Crime Solvers app for iPhone/Android or to text anonymous tips to 847411 using keyword FCCS.

Residents should submit tips about crimes, drugs, bullying, threats, suspicious activity, and more to help police protect students and community members of all ages.

Issues requiring immediate public safety attention should always be reported directly police by calling 9-1-1.

More information about Fairfax County Crime Solvers can be found at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org

Chief John Swenson

Lino Lakes Police Now Using tip411 to Communicate with Residents

Tony Stano wanted for some time to bring the product he’s helped sell to communities around the country to the city where he lives.

“It’s kind of a passion project for me,” said Stano, who lives in Lino Lakes and is sales director for Tip411, a Twin Cities-based company that has operated a law enforcement communication platform for nearly 20 years.

“I know how important it is to every community we work with because it’s a complete community engagement tool that works to provide a safe space for residents to get involved in government where they might not otherwise feel inclined to say anything about what’s happening in their neighborhoods,” Stano said.

Lino Lakes Public Safety Department is the latest agency to sign on, and the system is now live.

“This is a platform for us to have really on-going engagement with our community,” said Public Safety Director John Swenson. “(Residents) can also provide information to us anonymously through text messaging, through the app, or through the website.”

It works seamlessly with the department’s existing social media platforms, including Facebook, which has continued to prove popular with people who live and work in Lino Lakes.

Tip411 also divides the city into four zones to streamline communication and make each zone specific to where users are most interested in knowing what’s going on.

“Simply by clicking a couple of boxes, we’re able to send that information across all of our social media platforms at one time, which is a real advantage for us,” said Swenson. “Public safety really is a partnership. We cannot possibly keep track of everything that’s going on in our community.”

“It doesn’t matter the size of the agency or community,” said Stano. “If you can send a text, download an app, or manage the internet in any capacity, you can utilize Tip411 to participate in neighborhood safety.”

Lino Lakes Tip411 Anonymous Tips

Lino Lakes Police debut new app on Night to Unite

Residents now have another way to stay informed about what is going on in their community and share information with law enforcement while remaining anonymous.

Just in time for Night to Unite Aug. 6, the Lino Lakes Public Safety Department (LLPSD) announced it had partnered with Tip411 so residents can have a multitude of channels to communicate with law enforcement — all anonymously.

“For the residents, it is just one more opportunity for them to partner with us and provide us information,” Public Safety Director John Swenson said. “For us, it is providing another opportunity to get information that can help us further make our community safe and it allows us to do some targeted communications and continue to work to find efficiencies for social media use.”

Tip411 is a St. Paul company that has been around since 2000. The company works with law enforcement, schools and community groups to implement community notification systems including crime alerts, anonymous text tips, smartphone apps and social media pushes. Tip411 currently works with 1,800 communities across 47 states. Some of its largest customers include the U.S. Air Force and the cities of San Francisco, San Antonio, Minneapolis and Duluth.

Lino Lakes resident Tony Stano, who has been a sales director with Tip411for almost six years, said over the past several years he has periodically checked in with city officials to see if there was interest in joining the Tip411 platform. “Because it was my hometown, I was particularly passionate about seeing it through to fruition or to have the door shut,” Stano explained. The department and the company started planning for the launch a year ago.

Swenson said although the technology is something his department had been interested in for a long time, because of the department’s size there were only so many resources it could manage.

“The thing that really tipped it for us and why we decided to go with it, was the ability to create targeted zones of our city so we could do communications direct to areas,” Swenson explained. “For example, if we had something going on in northwest corner of our city related to theft from vehicles, we could send it out to that area of the city, versus broadcasting it throughout. We can be specific about our messaging geographically, which we have not had an ability to do prior to this application.”

Through Tip411, the LLPSD can send out alerts through its custom branded mobile app (available for iPhone and Android), email, text and social media. Residents are also able to send anonymous tips via all those channels. Through the app and on the website, residents can also submit tips about specific pins/incidents on the community crime map.

“One of the main benefits of Tip411 is that any tip that is sent in starts at two-way conversation with law enforcement and the tipster remains anonymous 100% of the time. For every tip that LLPSD receives, they will have the opportunity to respond to the tip or ask questions to develop information before ever having to deploy a physical resource if necessary,” Stano said. “So instead of an officer chasing down a two-sentence tip that they really don’t know about, they can save time and communicate over our service. For the public, it is a safe space to get involved without the fear of retribution or retaliation.”

The mobile app also enables residents to attach videos and or pictures to their tips. “If LLPSD pushes out an alert that they are looking for a suspect in a red car, you could be sitting at Applebees eating your rib tips and see that car in the parking lot. Right from your mobile device in real time, you can submit a tip about that alert,” Stano said.

As always, residents should call 911 in an emergency. “It is very important that everybody understands this is a mechanism for people to communicate with us about a non-emergency event, or a not-in-progress event,” Swenson urged. “If you need to see a police officer, or you see something suspicious in your neighborhood and you want a police response, that has to go through our dispatch center because these platforms are not monitored on an ongoing basis.”

By downloading the app, you opt in to getting alerts through the app. If you want alerts via email or text, you have to sign up online on the city’s website. (Go to the public safety tab, click police division, programs & initiatives and then Tip411.) Residents are encouraged to sign up for the particular zone they live in, although they are also able to receive all alerts across the city if they so choose. For questions, contact LLPSD at 651-982-2323.

Read the full story from Quad Community Press