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

BJA - Bureau of Justice Assistance U.S Department of Justice

tip411 is a Qualified Program for DOJ-BJA Grant Funds

Through its Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the U.S. Department of Justice is releasing over $34M in grant funds for state and local jurisdictions to prevent and reduce school violence through use of technology. tip411 is a qualified program to provide through the use of these grant funds.

As you may know, BJA is the primary provider of criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions.

The BJA STOP School Violence grant clearly outlines use of this kind of technology, tip411, as a priority.  In fact, BJA plans to make up to 17 awards of up to $250,000 each under its Category 7: Technology and Reporting.  The main objective under this category is “to implement a technological solution, such as an anonymous reporting technology, that can be implemented as a mobile phone-based app, a hotline, or a website in the applicant’s geographic area designed to enable students, teachers, faculty, and community members to anonymously identify threats of school violence…  The proposed technology solution should be used to help prevent incidents before they occur.”

tip411 is a cost-effective web based toolset that allows law enforcement to communicate with, and get tips from, the community across a variety of channels including custom branded apps, 2-way anonymous text messages, community alerts via email, text and social media.

Applications are due June 11, 2019.  To reiterate, tip411 is a qualified program to provide through these grant funds and we have staff on hand to help assist you in preparing your application to include our technology as part of your overall strategy.

Have questions? Contact us today!

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

Inver Grove Heights Police Cruiser

Inver Grove Heights PD Launches New Text Tip Tool

In a day when technology reigns, the Inver Grove Heights Police Department decided to turn to the devices that are almost always attached to people’s hands to help fight crime.

The department announced via its Facebook page Nov. 7 it will utilize Tip411, a program that allows folks to submit tips the way many communicate most — via text message.

Utilizing phones

Chief Paul Schnell said the program has been around for a number of years and is used by agencies in Minnesota and across the country.

“We know simply that we have a texting culture and people want to provide information, but one of the things that keeps some people from reporting or calling or providing information is the fact that they’re concerned about their anonymity,” he said.

Tip411 allows people to send texts that get filtered through an automated system. Schnell said the department doesn’t know who sent the tip — it can be text or a picture — and the system allows the department to communicate back to the tipster.

The day the post was made about the new feature, Schnell said the department received a useful tip through it. Someone let police know about a dump truck that was stolen from a business on Concord Street. The truck had also pulled down wires.

The department was able to communicate back with the tipster and verify the information. The tipster, however, never had to identify themself.

Tip411 is a product of St. Paul-based Citizen Observer. Schnell said he has used the system in other communities like Hastings and Maplewood, where it helped the department identify a homicide suspect and solve the case.

Use in the schools

Schnell said ISD 199 is also launching the Tip411 program, with the aim of improving school safety at the middle and high schools.

Superintendent Dave Bernhardson said the program was brought to the school’s attention by Schnell.

“Once we had that dialogue, we felt it was a very, very good opportunity for both of us to partner to get great information and obtain information from our kids, when needed,” said Bernhardson.

He said the district hopes students use the new tool as a safe space to communicate with officials about things that are concerning them.

“There seems, I guess we’ll find out, an unlimited amount of things that they can communicate, because in the end we want to make sure everything is as safe as possible for our kids,” Bernhardson said.

Schnell said Tip411 could be a mechanism for someone to report if they know of another student bringing a weapon to school. It could also be used for other things like reporting bullying or a student worried about another student talking about suicide.

“Ultimately, what it does is help create a safer school environment by getting good information to administrators to vet and sort through, and ultimately identify solutions,” Schnell said.

Bernhardson added any information gleaned over Tip411 would need to be confirmed, so he sees it as no different than other means of communication.

Read the full story from LillieNews.com

Augusta Police

Augusta police say there is no ‘direct threat’ after anonymous Cony High School tip

City police said school operations will carry on as usual on Thursday after an anonymous tip alluding to “a possible threat of violence involving a firearm and Cony High School” late Wednesday night.

“There did not appear to be any direct threats, however due to the nature of this incident, (police) immediately identified the Augusta juvenile, and embarked in an extensive investigation into the alleged threats,” Deputy Chief Kevin Lully wrote in a Thursday morning press release. “(Police) are working in conjunction with the school, parent and the student involved, all of whom are working very cooperatively with Police.”

Lully said police were in contact with the juvenile “within an hour” after the tip was received at about 10 p.m. He said there were no charges being considered “at this time” against the juvenile.

Lully told the Kennebec Journal that the threat was not leveled against a specific student, but the school in general. Despite the reported threat, he wrote in the release that “Augusta Schools continue to be safe for all users at this time.”

No additional police presence is expected at the school on Thursday, Lully said, but officers will be “highly visible” if students, staff, visitors or parents have questions about the incident.

According to police reports, a report of terrorizing was investigated on Tracy Street at 10:32 p.m.

The Augusta Police Department would like to thank the administration at Cony High and all our community partners for assisting us so we could bring this incident to closure as soon as possible.

The anonymous tip was communicated through the new mobile application, “Tip411,” that was launched earlier this month.

View the full story from the Kennebec Journal

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

More School Safety Measures

tip411 Part of Push for More School Safety Measures in McKinney, Texas

McKinney ISD Superintendent Rick McDaniel and McKinney Mayor George Fuller held a town hall meeting with the public Wednesday night to discuss concerns and suggestions related to the safety and security of children at MSID.

“We got a lot of what we hoped for,” Fuller said, referring to personal observations from those outside the district as well.

Much of the discussion focused on what safety measures the district currently has in place, including the number of new security cameras across the district.

MISD also has Crisis Counselors dedicated to bullying on campuses and a Tip 411 line, which allows students to anonymously report if they hear rumors or concerns about safety and security.

Read the full story from Community Impact Newspaper

Keep your school safe tip411

tip411 Can Help Students Keep Their Schools Safe

Like many of you, the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida has left us wondering what more we can do to help protect our kids in school.

While there’s no easy solution, we believe tip411 can help students to more effectively share information anonymously with administrators and/or law enforcement.

tip411 School Edition enables students to send anonymous tips to Administrators, School Resource Officers (SROs), and other authorized personnel who can respond to the tips in real time from any internet connected device, creating a two way anonymous chat.

It provides a “safe space” for students to communicate with authority figures through two-way anonymous communications that facilitate dialogue, leading to more accurate information.

“Our SRO’s have great relationships with many students, but tip411 allows our SRO’s to build relationships with students they have not yet been able to reach. tip411 also promotes kids being responsible for the safety of their schools and having them take that kind of ownership is priceless.” – McKinney Independent School District’s Director of Safety, Greg Hill

Many communities across the US have begun to use tip411 to improve school safety, and examples of how they’ve use it can be found here:

We encourage you to contact us for a free demo of tip411 School Edition and examples from across the US where our solutions have been implemented to empower students to help protect their schools.

LaSalle-Peru anonymous tips

LaSalle-Peru school safety measure introduces anonymous tips

LaSalle-Peru Township High School (LPHS) has launched an anonymous tip system for the new school year that will allow the community to report situations via text message or through an app, according to a release from the school.

The school has employed tip411, a tool created by Citizen Observer, which will facilitate anonymous two-way conversations. Those wishing to use the system can download the LP tip411 app, available for both iPhone and Android, in order to submit messages, photos and videos. The system is also accessible through text message. Users can direct their tip to 847411, starting the message with “CAVALIERS.”

According to LPHS, the tips are completely anonymous; all information that could identify a user is stripped before the message is sent to authorities. Tips sent through tip411 are sent and received in real time. The system is already in place in more than 1,200 communities throughout the country.

The school noted that it has implemented the tip system in a bid to keep students, staff and visitors as safe as possible, and that it believes tip411 will better enable communication and the speed with which the school can address situations.

See the full story in the Illinois Valley Times