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

Anonymous tip texting app

Rockland law enforcement unveils anonymous tip texting app

Anyone who witnesses a crime or can provide information on wrongdoing can use a free anonymous cell phone application to text police.

The county’s social media-based tip411 application was unveiled Tuesday by the Rockland District Attorney’s Office and local police. The system has been used in Westchester County, as well as across the state and nation.

While police still want emergency calls to go to 911, tip411 is geared toward texting tips and video and could overcome fears of witness intimidation, authorities said during a news conference at the District Attorney’s Office in the Rockland Courthouse.

The application also allows for receiving police alerts and social media channels.

“Giving the public the ability to anonymously communicate with police will allow people to provide key information without fear of reprisal,” District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said. “Tip411 will also help to alleviate a lack of witness cooperation, which has hampered the investigative process in many criminal cases.”

The targeted audience is especially young people, who are rarely without their cell phones.

“Tell a young person to make a phone call and they don’t want to,” Zugibe said. “Tell them to send a text message, no problem.”

The “RocklandCo DA app” can be downloaded free from Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, or by visiting the District Attorney’s Office website at www.rocklandgov.com.

Police said the system enables people to send anonymous tips about crime, drugs, bullying and suspicious activity to their local police department with officers able to respond, creating a two-way chat.

Three ways to send tips:

  • Send anonymous text tips to 847411 – tip411- then type keyword “rocklandcoda” add a space, type your tip info and hit send.
  • An anonymous tip can be sent through the free RocklandCo DA Smartphone app for iPhone and Android or tablet.
  • Use the anonymous web tip form at the District Attorney’s Office at www.rocklandgov.com.
“This does not replace 911 for crimes in progress,” Zugibe said, adding the tips are an investigative tool for police to solve crimes. “The tips are 100 percent anonymous.”

Police said the tip system has been used in Westchester County for nearly six years and has helped solve “cold cases.”

The system costs $17,000 for 24 months. The cost is paid through funds seized from criminal enterprises, District Attorney’s Office Capt. Brendan Donohue said.

All tips will be investigated just as if a person called in on the telephone or walked into a police station, authorities said, referring to people submitting false information.

Zugibe also said the information is not prosecution testimony.

“This is not a substitute to testimony,”  he said. “This will be a valuable investigative tool.”

Read the full story from Lohud.