The App That Helps Keep Marion County Safe

  • 2/22/2019 6:09:36 PM
  • Jenna Ramolt
  • Local News

MARION COUNTY, OH - When a tip came in concerning a possible threat at a high school in Marion County, the Marion County Sheriff's Office were able to tackle it quickly thanks to an app called Tip411.

There are many iterations of Tip411, but Marion County has had one developed by Citizen Observer specifically for local schools and law enforcement. It allows students and faculty to report possible crimes or threats completely anonymously and even includes a chat feature so that authorities can get more information from the tipster without compromising their identity.

"Having that anonymity really kind of helps some of our tipsters get some information out to us that they otherwise would be scared to provide," explained Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Zempter. He says that they have already received several tips thanks to the app, mostly concerning minor drug use or threats of violence, although there have fortunately not been many major threats as of yet.

The app is monitored 24/7 by dispatch, as well as Deputy Zempter. School Resource Officers have been promoting the app within their schools, and materials have been distributed to faculty and administrators to make sure they know about the resource and how to use it. There is a small fee associated with the program, which is shared by the Sheriff's Office and participating schools.

"With the evolution of technology, we also have to evolve our ways of investigating or our ways of reaching out to members of the community," Zempter said. "So many of our young minds throughout Marion County and throughout the entire state of Ohio, they rely heavily on social media and technology as a form of communication. Having this avenue for them to reach out to us, it kind of puts us in their realm... the benefits are immeasurable. If we can stop one tragic accident or one tragic event from happening at any of our schools, it's well worth the effort that we put into the app."

The Marion County Schools Tip411 app is available for download in the Apple App Store.

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