Ascension Parish Sheriff Cruiser

“If you use it correctly…it will work for your agency and community.”

tip411 interviewed Public Information Officer Allison Hudson of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana.

Q: How has the tip411 system aided your agency?
A: It’s been a great tool for residents to have another way to submit tips and our’s is used a lot. With tip411, if they want to reach us anonymously, they can. We’ve done several programs through tip411, like a few years ago when we were having a string of pharmacy break-ins, we met with them and signed them up on tip411 to share information. Another way is we’ve used tip411 in our school system for bullying.

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A: We had a homicide in 2014 that was a 16 year old kid who went missing and we received a tip from someone who noticed some similarities with a known person. Long story short he provided information to help us solve the crime and he and others were arrested in conjunction with the homicide.

Q: Tell us about your community, agency, and how you heard about tip411?
A: We have about 120,000 people in the parish, with 350 employees at the Sheriff’s Office.We heard about tip411, did a free demo, and we signed up from there.

Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A:  I monitor all of the tips and the 24/7 dispatch center monitors them outside of normal business hours. All of our lieutenants and captains have access to these tips as well. If we’re working a homicide, a detective will be assigned to checking those tips real-time. Every division head has access and are responsible for checking and responding to tips and they send me an email to let me know if a tip can be closed out or not. I keep a list of how many cases are solved based on tips that are received. We also have a School Security Division and the lieutenant checks those tips and will send it to the officers stationed in schools if tips pertain to their school.

Q: What have you done to brand and promote the tip411 system in your community to make your residents aware of it?
A: Related to use in schools for bullying, we made it so every computer’s first screen when students login is about reporting a tip using tip411. It has the number and instructions on how to do it. We’ve also done billboards, advertising in the newspaper, digital ads, etc. for people to submit a tip. We also use and have success with CrimeStoppers and we have a card we give out to residents at community police events, during violent crimes, or anything that we might be looking for related to crime in neighborhoods, and one side has the tip411 information and the other side has CrimeStoppers. It definitely has worked. We also share information on our social media channels and in every press release I send out about a crime, I put information about how to submit tips through tip411.

Q: Have you noticed an increase in the number of tips your agency is receiving and cases you are solving since implementing tip411?
A: We get two types of tips – narcotics tips and bullying tips. Narcotics tips are pretty steady, but when I put out warrant alerts in the newspaper, we see a jump. I see about a 98% rate for tips when I put out information about Narcotics warrants. Bullying tips pickup at the beginning of school, over breaks, and at the end of the year.

Q: Can you tell me more about your success with tip411 in schools?
A: We’ve had several tips where students share information about threats and our crisis response team goes to the schools and arrests are made. We get screenshots of Snapchats, Instagram messages/posts, things we would never find without tip411. School administrators and staff see it as useful and teachers have used tip411 to share information as well. We talk to the student body about how to use it at assemblies, what it’s used for, not to use it incorrectly and what the consequences are. We have cards specifically made for students to explain to them, in a simple way, how to use tip411.

Q: Any advice for other agencies considering tip411?
A: I think it’s a good tool to use. We found that people really do just want to submit information and remain anonymous. If you use it correctly – if you go through the webinars, and the trainings, and actually get officers and businesses involved, get residents signed up – it will work for your agency and community.

Help Fight Crime

Washington County Sheriff’s Office launches new app for reporting substance use

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.

Those without access to a cell phone may submit an anonymous tip online using the form found here: https://www.tip411.com/tips/new?alert_group_id=21864.

Read the full story from News Center Maine

Effingham County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office Launches tip411

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office has launched a new app for customized crime fighting. It’s called “tip411.”

The tip411 app is designed to help you better connect to law enforcement, find information, view alerts, and submit anonymous tips. It is now available to download in your app store.

“There are a lot more eyes and ears out there other than just deputies and law enforcement that can give us information,” said Effingham County Sheriff, Jimmy McDuffie. “It allows residents to not only submit tips, but access agency alerts. We have a crime mapping program that’s on it. When we do any alerts, they’ll go out on the Tip411 program, Facebook, and Twitter.”

The Effingham County School District has also implemented tip411.

See the full story from WTOC

Police Deputy Phone

Are crime-fighting apps truly a boon for law enforcement?

In a recent update from the National Sheriff’s Association, tip411 was mentioned in an article about crime-fighting apps:

Fort Myers Police Department in Florida launched a similar app called the Tip411. It will allow Southwest Florida residents to submit tips and report non-emergency criminal activity while remaining anonymous.

It will not replace 911 calls, but the police believe that it will help them make the neighborhoods safer with the help of an engaged community. At this point, it is a win-win, but it remains to be seen whether these apps turn out to be the boon that their makers promise them to be.”

Click here to read the full story.

tip411 Northampton crime alerts and tips

Northampton sheriff: New app for crime alerts and tips

A new app alerts Northampton residents to crimes or other incidents — and it also allows users to send in crime tips or report unusual activity to the Sheriff’s Office anonymously.

Northampton Sheriff David Doughty announced the free Tip 411 app is available to the public.

“We are working every day to continue to strengthen our relationship with the community,” said Doughty, adding, “It has been my mission since day one as your sheriff to make Northampton County as safe as it can be.”

The app is “a great way for our citizens to become involved with helping us make Northampton County a safe place to live, work, play and raise our families,” Doughty said.

The free app can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store by searching Northampton Sheriff.

Residents also can send tips from a computer or tablet by going to http://www.tip411.com/agencies/northamptoncosheriff/groups/21736

Additionally, tips can be called in to the tip line at 757-678-0458, or texted to 847411, beginning the message with “NCSO,” according to a press release.

The app is not intended to replace calling 911 or to be used in emergencies.

The Sheriff’s Office also has partnered with the county school district to provide the app to enable students to send anonymous tips to school resource officers, school administrators, or other authorized personnel.

“The app will give students a way to anonymously communicate with school officials and law enforcement on issues that pose a threat to the safety of their fellow students, teachers and staff,” according to the release.

Read the full story from the Salisbury Daily Times

Onodaga county tip411 app

tip411 App in Onondaga County Busts Marijuana Growing Operation

An 80-year-old woman and her son were charged with growing marijuana in Clay.

According to the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, Rosemary Mezzatesta, 80, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the third degree and unlawfully growing cannabis after a concerned community member notified deputies using the Tip411 app.

Mezzatesta’s son, 51-year-old Albert Merola was also charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree, unlawfully growing cannabis and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Both were issued appearance tickets.

Read the full story from CNYCentral.com

Police Cruiser

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Uses Alert to Share Home Safety Tips

 

Security Tips for Securing Your Home

 

Home security is always a priority. Here are some good Home Security Tips we found at Howstuffworks.com

1. Lock up your home, even if you go out only for a short time. Many burglars just walk in through an unlocked door or window.

2. Change all the locks and tumblers when you move into a new house.

3. For the most effective alarm system, conceal all wiring. A professional burglar looks for places where he or she can disconnect the security system.

4. Your house should appear occupied at all times. Use timers to switch lights and radios on and off when you’re not at home.

5. If you have a faulty alarm that frequently goes off, get it fixed immediately and tell your neighbors that it’s been repaired. Many people ignore an alarm that goes off periodically.

See the alert and full set of safety tips here.

Central El Paso County

Tip nets 2 drug suspects in Central El Paso traffic stop

El Paso County sheriff’s investigators arrested two men on drug charges Tuesday in Central El Paso following an anonymous tip, officials said.

Jovan Ramos and Roberto Daniel Saavedra were arrested on drug possession charges during a traffic stop at Arizona Avenue and Noble Street, sheriff’s officials said.

During a search of a vehicle, investigators found a pound of hydroponic marijuana, 21 grams of cocaine and a gram of the prescription drug Adderall, officials said.

Read the full story from the El Paso Times

Crime tip line

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

tip411 app for anonymous messages

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 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