Barrera announces new ‘tip411’ smartphone app for anonymous messages to sheriff’s office


The Times-Gazette



The Highland County Sheriff’s Office now allows the public to share important public safety information anonymously with law enforcement by sending them a secure text message about crimes or suspicious activity in Highland County via a free smartphone app.

The Highland County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that it is launching “tip411,” an internet-based tool from Citizen Observer that enables the public to text message an anonymous tip to law enforcement and lets the officers respond back, creating an anonymous two-way conversation. The app can be downloaded for free via the Google Play store and iTunes App Store. Enter Highland County Sheriff in the search bar.

In addition, anyone with a cell phone may send an anonymous tip to the Highland County Sheriff’s office by texting HCSHERIFF and their message/tip to 847411 (tip411). Anonymous web tips can be submitted right from the sheriff’s office website at www.highlandcoso.com.

The Text Tips App and tip411 anonymous text-a-tip system are 100 percent anonymous, as the technology removes all identifying information before law enforcement officers see the tips and there is no way to identify the sender.

“We believe the public is our greatest law enforcement resource,” said sheriff Donnie Barrera, adding that “tip411 allows a safe and secure way for community members to share important information with law enforcement without the fear of retribution.”

“This system has been successful in communities across the U.S.,” said Terry Halsch, president of tip411. “Departments have been helped tremendously by members of the public, who have sent anonymous text messages to police with important information that often leads to arrests.”

Those with questions are asked to call the sheriff’s office at 937-393-1421.

The project was supported by he Rocky Fork Lake Area Safety and Advancement Project, funding through the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance.

The tip411 app is a web-based tool set for law enforcement that features anonymous text tips, group alerting and secure social media publishing tools. It helps agencies engage community members of all ages by enabling anyone with a cell phone to text anonymous tips that can be responded to in real time by authorized personnel in the agency or organization. Learn more at www.tip411.com or by following @tip411CO on Twitter and Facebook.

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The Times-Gazette