With students soon returning to campus, McKinney ISD and the McKinney Police Department are introducing a new tool to enhance student safety. It’s called tip411, and it is an internet-based communication system that gives students or any concerned citizen a means to quickly and anonymously report suspicious or criminal behavior at school.
With the addition of SRO’s at middle school campuses last spring, increased patrols around elementary schools and the installation of campus security vestibules throughout the District this summer, McKinney ISD is continually working to provide the safest learning environment possible. tip411 is an additional avenue to accomplish that goal by empowering students with an anonymous means to report threats that may affect their well being and safety—anything from weapons in school to bullying to drugs to potential outside threats.
Please note: tip411 is not a substitute for calling the Police Department to report any in-progress incident. If an immediate response is needed, please dial 9-1-1 in cases of emergency or 972-547-2700 if no emergency exists.
Powered by St. Paul, MN based company CitizenObserver, the tip411 service was purchased with grant money in a joint effort by the school district and the McKinney Police Department, making McKinney ISD the first school district in North Texas to implement this system.
Now, anyone with a cell phone can send an anonymous tip to the McKinney Police Department by texting one of the following keywords and tip information to 847411 (tip411):
|Elementary and Community||Keyword|
|McKinney Boyd HS||MBHSTIP|
|McKinney North HS||MNHSTIP|
|McKinney ISD – DAEP||DAEPTIP|
|Scott Johnson MS||SJMSTIP|
“MISD and the City of McKinney Police Department worked closely for several months to make sure this program was launched,” said Greg Hill, McKinney ISD Director of Safety, Security and Transportation. “The tip411 system alerts the police department and administration before a situation gets out of hand and allows them time to intervene immediately to prevent a situation from escalating.”
Student tipsters may take comfort in knowing that the system is completely anonymous. CitizenObserver’s technology removes all identifying information before the police department sees it, so there is no way to identify the sender. It does, however, allow police to correspond with the sender—who remains anonymous throughout the process—to gather more information, such as a description of a suspicious individual or additional details about an observed incident.
Cockrill Middle School SRO Daryl King first proposed implementing tip411 after researching products that might make it more likely for students to report concerns.
“More times than not,” King said, “middle schoolers and students [in general] will not communicate about an upcoming event or an event that has taken place if they feel that, by sharing that information, a negative light would be shown on them—or [if they fear] they may face retaliation via bullying, etc. Seeing that first hand after a short time in the schools, I knew that there had to be a way to reach this new media-savvy element of students in order to get information sharing to be safer, more productive and as anonymous as it can possibly be.”
tip411 offers that, and it helps streamline the process. King said that management of anonymous tipster information will be handled by campus SRO’s, which leaves administrators with more time to focus on the education of students.
“Of course, the SRO will keep an open line of communication with administrators concerning information gathered via tip411 that may be beneficial to them in the realm of safety and other non-police related areas,” King said.
“I feel that tip411 is a cutting edge and unique program that we are bringing to our McKinney Independent School District in order to enhance our students, staff and overall safety that we strive for on a daily basis. Safety creates comfort. Comfort in the classroom creates learning,” King said.