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

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.

tip411 a Great Tool for the Police

“…Communication is vital to our residents…and tip411 provides a great tool for the police!”

tip411 interviewed City Manager Pete Landrum and Police Chief Dennis Evers of Beavercreek, Ohio about their experience with tip411 in their community.

Q: Tell us about your community and the Beavercreek Police Department (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
Chief Evers:
The City of Beavercreek is a suburb of Dayton, Ohio and is the largest city in Greene County. We are one of the fastest growing suburbs in the Dayton area and are situated near Wright Patterson Air Force Base. The city is comprised of approximately 46,000 residents. Many residents are current or former military personnel employed at the base or by one of the many research and manufacturing firms engaging in defense technologies, aerospace and other advanced technologies.

Our police department has 50 sworn officers. We have received the “Accreditation with Excellence” distinction from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). We have two major highways and two malls within the city that pose policing challenges due to the increased daytime population.

Q: How did you hear about tip411?
Chief Evers: Our current City Manager, Pete Landrum, was familiar with this product at his previous position as Township Administrator in Delhi Township, a suburb of Cincinnati. He suggested we explore using it.
Manager Landrum: It is a good communication tool with residents and easy to use for both users.  It worked well in Delhi Township and I thought it would also be a good fit in the City of Beavercreek.  I simply sent Chief Evers the link to tip411 on the Delhi Township website and asked him to review and told him how I thought it was a really good tool and program.

Q: How is tip411 administered in your area (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
Chief Evers: After normal administrative business hours, the Communications Center and the on duty supervisor are responsible for monitoring and directing the tip information for the proper response. During normal business hours, one of the Captains is responsible for this function.

Q: How has tip411 aided Beavercreek?
Chief Evers: tip411 has allowed us to push out to our various social media platforms our information, notifications, alerts and news releases through one click of the mouse.  It affords us another means to facilitate two-way communication with our community.
Manager Landrum: The value is in the communication with residents.  It is a great way for residents to communicate and provide tips to us as well as a great way for our Police Department to mass communicate with residents and ask for their assistance.  It is difficult to place a value on such a tool that will prevent crime or help catch those who have committed crimes, which can save lives and prevent property damage.

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
Chief Evers: With the help of tip411, we have been able to identify suspects in multiple cases, including thefts and a bank robbery.  By using tip411 to post surveillance images of the suspects to the Police Department Facebook and Twitter pages, we are able to seek assistance from not only our community, but also the entire Dayton area and beyond.  Citizens viewing the post are able to quickly and conveniently submit an anonymous tip using the link provided in our posting.  With the help of those tips, we arrested a purse thief and a serial shoplifter who had stolen TV’s from multiple stores in our city. We also positively identified a bank robber after receiving multiple tips.  In all of these cases, the tips leading to the suspects’ identities have been within one day of our postings, which is a testament to the efficiency and effectiveness of tip411. 

Q: What have you done to promote your tip411 system to make sure residents know about it and use it?
Chief Evers: We use our web page and the quarterly city “In Touch” newsletter that goes out to all of our residents. We also use the customized tip411 flyer, which we distribute at community events.

Q: Any advice for other agencies considering tip411?
Chief Evers: Our agency has found it to be a valuable tool that has aided our efforts to push out important information to the community. The communication and response we have been receiving from the community when we have solicited their help in identifying suspects has been phenomenal and exceeded our expectations.
Manager Landrum: I just know that communication is vital to our residents with all departments and tip411 provides a great tool for the police!

Crime Prevention

tip411 Helps Prevent Bank Robbery, Recover Assault Rifle & Ammunition

At about 8:20pm on 01/31/2018, Wylie, Texas Police received several anonymous tips via tip411 about someone who was planning to rob a bank in Wylie.

The anonymous tipster provided identifying information and enough credibility that police immediately began working the tip.  Wylie Police were able to put information out to local banks in the area and developed a plan to have officers stationed at every bank in town until they could verify the validity of the information.

“This made our banking community feel safe, but also developed a higher level of trust of our organization,” said Wylie Police Lieutenant TJ Walters.

Within 24 hours of the tip, Wylie Police were able to take a male suspect into custody.  They also recovered an AR-15 with multiple 30 round magazines, a pellet gun that looked like a real gun, ammunition, and body armor.  The tip included information that these were the tools the suspect would use to follow through on his plan.

“We have had a couple of other success stories, but this one was certainly worth the share,” said Lieutenant Walters.

Want to learn more about tip411 and how it can help prevent crime in your community? Click here for a free demo of our products.

Fort Myers Police

tip411: You can send tips to Fort Myers Police via app or text

The Fort Myers Police Department launched a new way for people to report non-emergency crimes directly to officers anonymously.

The feature, called “Tip411” is part of the department’s revamped website, and comes in the form of an app.

The feature removes all identifying information from the tipster after a tip is submitted to ensure anonymity.

Police said that the feature is not meant to replace an emergency call to 911, but instead will guarantee 100 percent anonymity to anyone wishing to report a crime, danger, or suspicious activity.

Those without a smartphone can still access the feature by sending a tip via text. By texting the keyword, “FMPD” to 847411.

For smartphone users, the app is available for free in the Google Play Store, iTunes app store, or by visiting the Fort Myers Police Department’s website.