Texting-a-tip: Anderson Software’s TipSoft Online v5

Web 2.0 app provides discrete method for tipsters to share information

By Scott M. Bruner
PoliceOne Product Editor

Texting tips to law enforcement is quickly becoming a favorite among tipsters looking for an anonymous, secure way to provide vital information. Many software applications are springing up to take advantage. One program that can quickly capture crucial tip information is Anderson Software's TipSoft Online v5. This Web 2.0 application not only provides a secure system for capturing tips, but also a one-stop shop for managing information.

Used by over 600 law enforcement agencies, including the NYPD and LAPD, TipSoft offers a myriad of features to report and access tip information.

Tips can be received through a phone by either voice or text, and also via e-mail. Receiving tips by text is popular for tipsters, because of its anonymous nature, and especially among youth. TipSoft v5 captures SMS text-based tips, with tipsters simply typing in the keyword of "CRIMES," which will instantly access the TipSoft application. TipSoft users can also possible to immediately reply to the tipster via text to gather additional information.

"We are extremely pleased with the success of this program…It has become a valuable resource." Daniel Clemente, director of security for Douglas County Schools, Colo., said. "We are also very proud of the students that have stepped up to be responsible citizens and used this program the way it was intended: to help make their school a safer and more productive learning environment."

Secure tips are received anonymously from the Web by placing the TipSoft link onto any homepage. TipSoft's online application receives and manages tips received online. Like the text tips, two-way online dialogue is also supported online. When tips come in to the system, by text or e-mail, the application provides an immediate alert to the TipSoft user that new information is available.

Tips can still be received by TipSoft the old-fashioned way, over a voice line, and are easily input into the system – an online template is also available to help guide the tipster.

Accessing and managing multiple tips is supported by the application, as is filtering access to certain users. Different tip information can be designated only for specific users. The result of tips can also be tracked in the system, from the initial receipt of the information to a possible arrest.

TipSoft can be accessed from any PC with internet access or internet-ready PDA, although is not offered as direct app for smart phones.

Anderson Software is dedicated to providing unique software and secure web applications developed specifically for the law enforcement, homeland security and emergency management sectors. You can visit them online at www.andersoft.com.

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