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.

“We quantify our success with tip411 based solely on the fact that even one case solved because of a tip received via tip411 is a benefit since that case would not have been solved without it.”

tip411 interviewed Public Information Officer Alexandra Ovington of the Arlington Heights, Illinois Police Department.

Q: How has the tip411 system aided your agency?
A:
tip411 has aided our agency by allowing citizens’ voices to be heard anonymously. As police officers, we routinely hear from citizens that they are afraid to call 911. Many citizens believe they can be charged with filing a false police report if what they reported was incorrect or inaccurate. While this line of thinking is a misconception, it still creates an issue of suspicious or criminal activity being underreported in our community. tip411 creates a platform for these citizens to report incidents to police without the fear of misreporting. This allows our agency to be aware of crime or suspicious activity that would otherwise not be reported.

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A:
Our last arrest credited to tip411 is a case involving a stolen vehicle. In that case, a food delivery driver responded to a local hotel for a delivery, and while the driver was inside the hotel making the delivery, a female suspect stole his vehicle, which was left running in the parking lot. A tip was received via tip411 identifying the female offender, and that identification led to an arrest. The male that provided the tip received a cash reward courtesy of Arlington Heights Crime Stoppers.

Q: Tell us about your community and your agency (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A:
The Village of Arlington Heights is located in Cook County, Illinois. The Village is approximately 25 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. The population of Arlington Heights is estimated at 75,249. Arlington Heights Police Department has 107 Sworn Police Officers. Arlington Heights is best known for the Arlington Park Race Track, home of the Arlington Million; a Breeders Cup qualifying event.

Q: How did you hear about tip411?
A:
We heard about tip411 via the internet. We officially signed up in 2008 and have been using it ever since.

Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A:
 As the Public Information Officer (PIO), I am authorized to post on all social media platforms. Myself and my partner, the Problem Oriented Policing Coordinator (POP), facilitate the majority of posts through tip411. The PIO and POP post media releases, crime alerts, crime maps, event alerts, citizen/community alerts, and updates. In the event of a critical incident or media release for immediate distribution when neither the PIO or POP are available, supervisors are authorized to post on social media platforms through tip411. Any tips that are received are responded to by the PIO and POP and are subsequently assigned to the appropriate bureau.

Q: What have you done to brand and promote the tip411 system in your community to make your residents aware of it?
A:
It is a benefit for the Police Department to reach as many citizens as possible via tip411, as the more eyes and ears we have in the community, the safer our community becomes. In addition to cross-posting all posts made through tip411 to Facebook and Twitter, we also provide citizens with how-to instructions for signing up for and using tip411. We offer these instructions in handouts that we distribute at all community events including Police Department Open Houses and safety presentations. We also utilize tip411 in partnership with Arlington Heights Crime Stoppers whom, through their contributions, offer up to $1,000 for tips that successfully lead to arrests.

Q: Have you noticed an increase in the number of tips your agency is receiving and cases you are solving since implementing tip411?
A:
While the frequency of tips we receive vary from month to month, we do not quantify our success with tip411 based on an increase in the cases we are solving because of tips we receive. We quantify our success with tip411 based solely on the fact that even one case solved because of a tip received via tip411 is a benefit since that case would not have been solved without it.

Q: Any advice for other agencies considering tip411?
A:
Do not be afraid to provide case information to your community via tip411. Any information you can disseminate to the public for specific cases will only help to increase the amount of tips you receive in return. A strong Social Media presence leads to a strong Social Media following. Increase your eyes and ears and you will be surprised at your community’s willingness to help the police solve cases.

Mandan Police Anonymous Tip App

New Mandan Police app allows sending anonymous tips to officers

A way to interact with the Mandan Police Department on a mobile phone? There’s an app for that.

The free “Mandan PD” app has been posted to the Apple iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store and the Mandan Police Department website.

It’s nothing fancy, just a basic, no-frills way to submit anonymous tips to the Mandan police, view the police section of the Mandan city website, view any alerts posted by the police and call the police non-emergency number.

By incorporating a unique anonymous contact system known as “tip411,” the app lets officers respond back to anonymous tips sent through the app, creating an anonymous two-way conversation, if needed.

The Mandan PD app and tip411 are 100 percent anonymous, as the technology removes all identifying information before police see the tips — there is no way to identify the sender.

Residents in Mandan without a smartphone can still share information with police by sending an anonymous text tip via their cell phone to police by texting keyword MANDANPD and then their message/tip to 847411 (tip411).

Anonymous web tips can also be submitted through the department’s website at www.MandanPD.com.

Read the full story on KXNET.com

“There is no better time than right now to gain the trust and respect from your community.”

UPDATE: August 12, 2019

Crime Prevention Officer Caitlin Horne shared the following with us as ongoing proof of the success of Bismarck PD’s tip411 system:

“Below are two cases where tip411 played a HUGE ROLE as it appears more and more people are turning away from using our Facebook page as a place to say who the suspect(s) are as their names would be attached to it and they cannot stay anonymous on Facebook. I know we have many more success stories, but these are two where we got many tips in a fast timeframe and were able to solve the cases quickly.”

  • KT Animal Supply called to report two individuals, a male and female, came into their store and stole two rabbits. The investigating officer was able to obtain video footage of the theft and the video was placed on our Facebook page. Within an hour of the video being uploaded, I started receiving tips on tip411 about both suspects. After the 9thtip, the officer was able to positively ID both suspects and they were both questioned and ultimately admitted to stealing the rabbits. The rabbits were safely returned to KT Animal Supply and the suspects were both trespassed from KT indefinitely.
  • Ulta Beauty contacted Police after a female had left the store with over $400 worth of merchandise without paying for it. The investigating officer was able to get two still frame shots of the female and a male accomplice that was the getaway driver. The pictures were uploaded onto our Facebook page and Tips immediately started coming in on Tip411. The investigating officer was able to positively ID both suspects and formal complaints were issued through City Court. The investigating Officer applauded Tip411 for being the sole reason for the identification of these two suspects.

tip411 interviewed Officer Caitlin Horne of the Bismarck, North Dakota Police Department.

Q: Tell us about your community and the Bismarck Police Department (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A:
Bismarck’s population is over 72,000 people and, in 2017, Forbes Magazine ranked Bismarck as the 7thfastest-growing small city in the United States. The Bismarck Police Department currently has 129 sworn officers and continues to hire more when budget allows.Our Department is a full service agency that handles anything from an animal call to a homicide or aggravated assault.

Bismarck is constantly growing and expanding, and we have seen an influx of individuals coming to our area for employment opportunities. With that said, we have also seen an uptick in illegal activity which makes tip411 a great program to have in our department.

Q: How did you hear about tip411?
A:
tip411 staff came to the Bismarck Police Department a couple of years ago and did a demonstration of what they could bring to our agency. There was a webinar put on and, after speaking to other agencies that have tip411, we decided it was ultimately the best program out there that would benefit not only our department but allow the community to be more involved with our every day activities.

Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A:
There are three ways a citizen can report a tip. One way is through the Bismarck PD app. The second is through our departments website, and the third way is that residents can access the program on our website.

As of now, I review the tips that come in during the daytime hours, Monday-Friday, and will distribute them to the investigator in charge of the case they relate to. All supervisors and patrol commanders have access to the program after hours and are able to see all the tips that come in.

With the program being so new to our community (we just recently launched in January 2019), we are still receiving many of what we consider “in progress” calls on tip411. With Patrol Commanders having access to this program during the night hours, they are able to constantly check the status of any tip and determine if it is a call they need to respond to during their working shift or if it is something that can wait until the day time hours.

Q: How has the tip411 system aided your department?
A:
Just in the last two months, we believe tip411 has become a critical and essential tool to this Police Department. We take many reports from our citizens where they ask to remain anonymous and they have been deterred in the past from calling us because they don’t want to be involved in the report. tip411 gives our citizens the opportunity to report activity to us anonymously and help our department crack down on crime.

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A:
When we first launched tip411, we got multiple tips on the location and sightings of a juvenile runaway as well as numerous tips on the possible identities of suspects in a huge ring of felony cases.

Q: What have you done to promote your tip411 system to make sure residents know about it and use it?
A:
One of our main goals is to have a positive interaction with our community. We are fortunate to have so many citizens in the Bismarck area support our department and have close to 27,000 people following our Facebook page.

Our Crime Analysist works very hard to keep our Facebook page updated throughout the year. She tries to keep the citizens up to date on current cases we are trying to solve and request that citizens help with identifying the suspects.

Before tip411, most of our tips came from our Facebook page. We would ask the community to help identify a suspect(s) and we would get a great number of people willing to help. The biggest problem we saw was our citizens were wanting to help us and give us information but they did not want to be associated with the case and be looked at as a “nark” and, unfortunately with Facebook, as much as you make your profile private, there is always ways around it.

Now with tip411, our community is able to interact with us in another, completely anonymous, way and it’s much more beneficial for them as well as our agency. I believe the longer tip411 is in use by our agency, the stronger the trust of the community will become and our bond with the community will continue to grow.

We have links on our Facebook page and our website along with a billboard right by our Police Department which shows people how they can use the tip411 app to send us tips. Our local news stations have also done stories on tip411 and have helped us reach out to our community on how to properly use the system.

Q: Any advice for other departments considering tip411?
A:
There is no better time than right now to gain the trust and respect from your community. tip411 gives you that opportunity to build trust with community members who might be on the fence about law enforcement in general. In my eyes, giving the community another way to reach out to law enforcement can only make a stronger bond between the two.

Marion County Sheriff's Office

Marion Sheriff’s Office Investigates Alleged School Threat

Officers from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office acted quickly after receiving a tip of a “possible threat of violence” at a Marion County High School on Tuesday. The tip was received via the Marion County Sheriff’s Office tip411 app shortly after 11 PM Tuesday night.

Using the information from the submitted tip, deputies investigated the claim and determined that no threat against the schools existed. The school administrators were involved throughout the process, being notified of the tip when it was received and were later notified when the investigation concluded.

“The purpose of the partnership with the schools and the tip411 app was done in an effort to help school administrators and law enforcement provide a safe environment for our students in Marion County schools,” Sheriff Bailey stated. “Our students can be the eyes and ears and assist us in keeping a safe learning environment. They can do so without fear of retaliation by using the app, which allows them to provide us with information anonymously.”

“tip411” is an app designed to be utilized by students to provide information to school administrators and law enforcement about threats and offenses such as bullying, violent threats, drug use, suspicious activity, and other such acts. Providers of tips can remain 100% anonymous when sending a tip while conversing with officials.

Read the story from WMFD.com

Help fight crime in Bismarck

New program yielding tips for Bismarck Police Department

The Bismarck Police Department’s new anonymous tip program has yielded more than 100 tips since its launch on Jan. 1.

Officer Katie Horn said the tip411 app allows users to provide tips quickly but remain anonymous if they wish. Within a couple days of its launch, information received through the program helped officers locate a runaway. Tipsters also have provided information about shoplifters, and about 30 tips have been received on an active felony fraud case dating back to 2018.

The tip411 program replaces Crime Stoppers, which the department stopped using when tip411 was launched.

Tipsters can use tip411 three ways. They can text information directly to tip411, submit information to tip411 through the BPD website or use the app to send a message. Photos and videos can be attached to those messages. The message and text methods are quicker and easier, Horn said. Text messages can be sent to 847411. The keyword is BISPD.

Read the full story from The Bismarck Tribune

 

Atlantic City Police Public and Safety Office

“In our first full year of use, we received a little over 200 tips. In 2018, we received over 4,200.”

tip411 interviewed Sergeant Kevin Fair of the Atlantic City, New Jersey Police Department. Here’s what he had to say about tip411 at ACPD:

Q: Tell us about your community and the Atlantic City Police Department (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A:  
Atlantic City has about 39,000 residents.  However, we receive around 24 million visitors a year.   

Q: How is tip411 administered in your department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A:
 tip411 is monitored by personnel in our Communications Bureau and Surveillance Center on a 24/7 basis.  There are also select officers that receive tips as they come in.

Q: How has the tip411 system aided your department?
A:
 tip411 has been a tremendous asset for us.  We advertise it to our residents at community events and to our local businesses.  In our first full year of use, we received a little over 200 tips. In 2018, we received over 4,200. 

Q: You get LOTS of tips, what have you done to promote your tip411 system to make sure residents know about it and use it?
A:  
We have flyers available during community events.  We will always routinely use the mobile app while giving presentations.  We allow residents to see what we see, because some are skeptical that it’s anonymous. Also, at the end of every news release, the tip411 information is contained in the last paragraph. Information on tip411 will be provided at certain crime scenes. 

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A:
 Arrests are frequently made off of tips that are received.  Many of the tips are for narcotic related activity.  The tips will aid in our detective’s investigations. 

Q: You always make great use of our alerting feature – what do you typically send alerts out about and approximately how many residents do you reach with them?
A:  
We send alerts about weather events and general information from the police department that the public needs to know about. That would include; news releases, hirings/promotions, events, etc.

Q: The Atlantic City Police Department has used tip411 for many years, why is it so important for you to have anonymous tip capabilities?
A:  We police an environment where we need an anonymous service to aid us in our fight against crime.  We will get information from witnesses that we may not get otherwise.  This has allowed us to solve more than 75 percent of our non-fatal shooting investigations over the last several years. 

Q: The department is about to launch our new tip411 Select option – which allows your information to be translated into 40 languages – why is this so important to APD and the communities you serve?
A:  
Atlantic City is a melting pot of different nationalities who speak a litany of languages.  Being able to interact with particular segments of the community that we would not have otherwise is definitely a great advantage.

Below is just one recent example of Atlantic City Police being aided by tip411 to solve a violent crime, then using their tip411 alert feature to share that success with the media and public.

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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