Students can anonymously report threats to First Coast Crime Stoppers
There's 3 ways to submit tips
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There's one way that students can submit tips if they hear about a threat or know who's behind violence at school.
First Coast Crime Stoppers, which covers six Northeast Florida counties, hopes to make more students aware of its tip line that allows callers to remain 100 percent anonymous.
During "Generation Under Fire," News4Jax's town hall discussion about school safety, local students talked about their biggest concerns, one of which had to do with not knowing who to contact about a threat.
Wyllie Hodges, the executive director of First Coast Crime Stoppers, told News4Jax on Monday that, for him, it would be ideal for local school districts to make Crime Stoppers their official tip line.
"Why try to reinvent the wheel -- number one. Number two, I don't know of any other numbers you can call that guarantee anonymity. (Others) may say their anonymous, but they're only anonymous to a point," Hodges said. "The biggest thing of all, just like we were talking about at that town hall meeting the other night, the students that were talking -- they're totally confused. They say, 'Were told to call here. We can call there. We can call this, and we did this and it didn't work. Or nobody answered this phone.'"
News4Jax reached out to several local school districts about if they have or would consider forming a partnership with Crime Stoppers. Most of them -- including Duval, St. Johns County and Clay -- said they would get back to us. Many school districts are also on spring break this week, and others said they have to touch base with sheriff's offices before giving an exact answer.
Hodges said there are three way to submit a tip to First Coast Crime Stoppers.
To find the app, search "P3 Tips" in the app store. It's free.
When you download the app, it will ask you to create a pass code, and then will have you select your state and city. For Jacksonville, Florida, First Coast Crime Stoppers then comes up.
From there, you can submit a tip. You select what type of crime it is and then type in the information you want to submit.
"The system works. It's tried and proven. You've got stats to show you what we can do, what we've done -- not just here, but any and everywhere in the United States," Hodges said. "It just baffles my mind to think you wouldn't want to try something else when you’ve got something that works and it’s at no cost to you."
The system is free to schools because costs are covered by criminals who have to pay $20 when convicted of a crime.
First Coast Crime Stoppers covers six Northeast Florida counties: Duval, Clay, Nassau, Union, Baker and Bradford.
The call center, which is located in Canada, has someone waiting to pick up the phone 24/7.
St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Volusia counties are covered by Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida. Tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida by calling 1-888-277-TIPS (8477) or visiting westopcrime.com.
Crime Stoppers is well-known for giving cash rewards to people who submit information that leads to an arrest.
Students can also get a cash reward. The only difference is it won't be as much. Students can get up to $100 for a tip that leads to an arrest, or up to $300 if it involves an arrest of someone who brought a gun to school.
According to First Coast Crime Stoppers, some parents have expressed concern about their children getting money and not knowing about it, and many parents felt more comfortable with it being a lower amount.
Copyright 2018 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.