social-media-police-tool

Drawbacks to Social Media Data Mining for Police

Many agencies have begun using, or are considering purchasing, social media monitoring tools to mine Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms for crime-related information.

Recently, however, Twitter announced that it was pulling data access for police surveillance tools, and other companies are expected to follow suit.

Our products, specifically the tip411 two way anonymous tip chat solution, can provide a way to gather direct intelligence from citizens (without companies like Twitter and Facebook) determining what data is available to you.

Social media monitoring tools are an excellent resource for investigations and intelligence gathering, but may be increasingly limited over time.

We recently heard from a large department in California who reached out and thanked us for letting them know about this as they were very close to purchasing one of these expensive monitoring tools because they thought they needed it.

We would appreciate the opportunity to share how introducing tip411 into your community can help create direct engagement, without the use of such expensive and limited tools.

There are currently law enforcement agencies in more than 40 states and 1,4000 communities using tip411, and we hope you’ll contact us to request more information or to schedule a brief demo.

radio-tower-256

City of Hazard to Use tip411 Program for Utilities Alerts

The Hazard, Kentucky Police Department has been using tip411 to send alerts and receive anonymous tips since 2015.

Recently, the City of Hazard announced it would be using the Police Department’s tip411 system to send email and text alerts directly to residents with important information.

Listen to the announcement from Q95FM in Eastern Kentucky.

police-survey_clip_image002_0000

Clinton PD rolls out alert system

The Clinton Police Department is extending another avenue of communication to the public, this time an alert system that allows citizens to get up-to-the-minute information on crime, traffic, weather and local events.

image_sampson

The Tip411 Alert System is a component of the department’s existing Tip411 program designed to keep residents as informed as possible, while allowing police and those they serve to easily interact with each other. The department has been testing the system, which is similar to what other municipalities and colleges use.

Citizens choose to participate in the program and receive a text in the event of an emergency or other major events. The program is similar to the city’s ConnectCTY, but more direct and quicker than a phone call, city manager Shawn Purvis noted.

“This program allows citizens to subscribe to this alert, which they can receive either by text or email. It will alert people to such things as crime — say we have car break-ins in a neighborhood that we want to tell people about — or events, like a triathlon or N.C. 24 work, and we may have some traffic situations,” Police Chief Jay Tilley said.

Read the full story from the Sampson Independent.

download

Minneapolis Mayor Asks Residents to use tip411 to Help Stop Homicides

tip411 can be a powerful took to help police and city governments combat crime, particularly homicides.

image_hodges

Allowing residents to share information anonymously can help police receive tips they otherwise may not have, and close more cases.

Interested in learning how tip411 can help in your community? Click here for a free demo.

image_onondagacosheriff

Interview: Onondaga County, NY Sheriff’s Office

tip411 interviewed Captain Dan Brogan of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department in Onondaga County, New York.

Q: Tell us about Onondaga County and your department (how many residents, how many sworn, etc.).
A:
Onondaga County is located in Central New York and includes the city of Syracuse. The county is 827 square miles, has a population of over 750,000 residents, and our department has just over 220 sworn members.

Q: How is tip411 administered in the Sheriff’s department (responsibilities, protocols, etc.)?
A:
Our previous tip lines ran through the Public Information Office. When we set up tip411, we made the decision to have several administrators on the system who are responsible for being a clearinghouse for tips that are received. When they come in to myself, the Public Information Office, our Fusion Center, etc., we distribute the tips according to topic and assign them to individuals to respond and have tip conversations directly with the tipster.

Q: How is the tip411 system used in your community?
A:
The majority of tips we receive, without question, are for drug activity. Most people want to report drug activity because no one wants a drug house next door to them, but they don’t have great success by calling 911 with this information because, usually, there’s very little patrol can do when they respond.

Because people can share this information electronically through tip411 and they know it’s anonymous, they have been providing more specific information than they leave on our tip line where they have to leave a voice message.

When email came out years ago we saw a huge uptick in the amount of tips that came in that way, but once people realized that we could trace their IP address to find out where the tip came from and that it was not truly anonymous, they became much more skeptical of contacting us that way.

With tip411, there’s not that traceability which is great for the tipster, yet we are able to create an ongoing anonymous conversation and ask questions to get that one more piece of information that makes a tip actionable and helps us affect arrest.

Q: What have you done to brand and promote the tip411 system in Onondaga County?
A:
We’ve had success because we’ve done promotion of the system. We have the information on our website and almost every single night on the news there’s something from the Sheriff’s department about a crime and how we’re trying to identify a suspect and tip411 is available to share information safely and anonymously.

It’s also been helpful to us that the Syracuse Police Department and Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office are both using and promoting tip411 as well because it has added to a wider knowledge about the system with residents in our county.

Q: Any notable tips/arrests credited to tip411 that come to mind?
A:
What’s notable is the every day success we’re having with the system that we hadn’t seen before. We’re getting more tips, closing more cases, and being able to continue anonymous tip conversations with reporting party rather than just getting a voicemail with a piece of information that isn’t enough to help us build a case off of.

We’ve had neighbors and community groups in meetings tell us they’re glad we’ve taken care of this problem or that drug location, and we wouldn’t have been able to do it with tip411.

Q: Have you noticed an increase in the number of tips your department is receiving and cases you are solving since implementing tip411?
A:
We’ve absolutely seen an increase. Previously we got about one to two tips per week on our traditional phone tip line and through other avenues. We’re still seeing that, but in addition we’re now receiving about a tip per day through tip411.

Since launching our tip411 system in December of 2015, we’ve received approximately 225 tips. That’s 225 more tips than we would’ve gotten without tip411.

Of those 225 tips, we’ve opened 70 cases and closed nearly 80% of those through arrests.

I spent 14 years as Supervisor of the Narcotics Unit, and during that time we closed between 55% and 60% of cases based on tips that came in. The ones we didn’t make arrests on were because we couldn’t verify because there wasn’t enough information. With tip411, now we can go back and ask that one or two extra questions to make it more successful. For example, a tip about a blue car isn’t that helpful, but if we can follow up and get the tipster to share the license plate for the blue car, that really helps quite a bit and that’s why we’ve seen our arrest rate grow significantly with tip411.

Q: So, why tip411?
A: We got tip411 in December 2015 through a partnership with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office and it’s been very successful for us. As I’ve said, it’s not just a substitute for other ways we have for people to submit tips, it’s an additional, anonymous avenue for people to reach us with important information that’s helping us get more information and close more cases.

Q: Anything you would tell other agencies considering tip411?
A: It’s a success. It’s had a proven track record of success with us for anonymous tips for narcotics because it allows you to communicate anonymously with the tipster and lets a lot more people come forward with more information.

People want to come forward, but they’re petrified. tip411 has helped remove that fear and has been a really a fantastic addition to our arsenal.

image_marioncounty

Marion County Sheriff Starts Anonymous Tipline

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has announced the launch of its text to tip program, tip411. Tip411 is a new way to keep the community connected and informed through email, text message and online public safety alerts. Tip411 also allows the public to report crime tips and other non-emergent suspicious activities directly to police by sending anonymous text messages from their cell phone or via a free smart phone app.

“Tip 411 is a service that allows its users to report criminal activity or suspicious circumstances anonymously,” Lt. Chris Baldridge said. “(It) is not a replacement for 911 or a call to our dispatch center during an in progress incident. This service is designed to help us gather information on the location of wanted criminals and to identify areas where criminal activity may be occurring. The new tip411 system allows our office to engage with the public and share information that will help make Marion County a safer place.”

Register to receive alerts by visiting https://tip411site.wordpress.com/sign-up-for-alerts/.

While not a replacement for dialing 911 in an emergency, those wishing to share information anonymously with police can simply text TipMCSO and their message to 847411 (tip411).

The new MCSO In The Know App for iPhone and Android from tip411 enables the public to share an anonymous tip with police and lets the officers respond back creating an anonymous two-way conversation.

Read the full story from the Woodburn Independent.

image_mcso

Marion County Sheriff’s kick off text to tip app

Marion County residents can now report crime tips via text message.

The new text-to-tip program, tip411, allows Marion County Sheriff’s Office to help connect with the community.

The program lets users report crime tips and suspicious activities by sending an anonymous text message from their cellphone or through a free app called MCSO In The Know.

“We believe an informed community is a safer community,” said Lt. Chris Baldridge,  Marion County Sheriff’s public information officer.

MCSO In The Know gives officers the ability respond back by creating an anonymous two-way conversation.

The technology utilized in the app removes identifying information from users before messages reach police.

In addition to the two-way text conversations, the sheriff’s office will inform registered app users of public safety alerts by sending emails, text messages and app alerts.

Anonymous crime tips can also be shared by sending by texting “TipMCSO” and their message to 847411, or tip411.

Read the full story from the Statesman Journal.