In many cases, local residents will not report what appears to be illegal activity feeling they will be identified. A new app introduced Thursday will not only deal with possible law breakers, but …
In many cases, local residents will not report what appears to be illegal activity feeling they will be identified. A new app introduced Thursday will not only deal with possible law breakers, but keep anyone who reports such activity anonymous.
Tip411 is a service that is coordinated through The Bridge organization. The group is interested in helping keep youngsters from drug abuse, but is much more as it also pinpoints adults who may be supplying, whether intentional or not, narcotics to these teens.
At a special press conference Thursday held at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, law enforcement officials and officers spoke of the benefits of the new app.
"I think that this is an example of when you talk about a drug epidemic in the community and crime in the community, a lot of people think it is just a law enforcement issue, and it is not," said Cleveland Police Chief Mark Gibson. "(The Bridge) is an organization that has stepped up the plate, taken ownership and invested in the community, and purchased us the tool that we are going to be able to utilize."
The app will be separated into tips called in to the police department and the Bradley County Sheriff's Office. By downloading the free tip411 app, the caller will be able to type in whether they live in the CPD service area or the area which is in the Bradley County Sheriff's Office's jurisdiction.
"Again, this is another great partnership with the Cleveland Police Department, and we thank The Bridge for giving us another tool to fight crime in our county," said Sheriff Eric Watson. "This will be a help to solve more crime, and what is so viable about this tool is it is totally confidential. It is very secure and very safe, and if they call in a tip, we will respond to it."
Watson said that the tip411 will not take the place of the Neighborhood Watch program, but be an enhancement for that program.
Reba Terry, who heads The Bridge, added that the app will allow the anonymous caller to attach photos. "It is free ... and it will be a great communication tool," she said.
Sgt. Evie West, public information office for the Cleveland Police Department, reminded everyone that the tip411 line will be for non-emergencies. For emergencies, residents should still call 911.
Lt. James Bradford, communications director for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office, added that both the BCSO and CPD will be monitoring the tip411 line throughout the day into the evening.
"This will really be a help to our deputies in fighting crime in our community," Bradford said.
West added that it will be very useful in helping diffuse potential drug abuse among young men and women, and teens, as everyone now seems to have a smart phone.
The Bridge was formed three years ago by a group of local citizens who learned that the opioid epidemic has reached Bradley County. As time progressed, The Bridge added the acronym ATS to its title —signifying awareness, treatment and sustainability.
The Bridge mission is to protect the next generation from substance abuse and prepare them to be responsible citizens, and along the way, the organization learned of tip411, and decided to subscribe to this service as a gift to the community to decrease criminal activity associated with drug abuse and ultimately to improve the safety of all its citizens.
"This will be a definite asset to our community," Gibson said.
To find out more about the tip411 program, check out The Bridge website at www.atsthebridge.org.
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