The Muskegon County Silent Observer Committee has invested in new technology to increase the number and quality of crime tips entering the system. “The new software makes it easy for people to provide information in a completely confidential manner”, says Tom Schultz, Chair of the Silent Observer Advisory Committee. Police have reported that the quality of the information they are receiving is much improved in recent months. Recently, a Muskegon Area Resident received $1,000 for information that led to a murder conviction. “This new interactive software is making the process more effective for people who provide tips and for members of law enforcement who follow up on the tips received”, according to Schultz.
The software used in the program has always concealed the identity of the tipster, however, the new software in the Silent Observer app allows for more dialogue in a way that is completely anonymous. The tipster is given a code number for communications that blocks out any phone number from being seen or recorded. It is important that the tipster monitors their own code number to see if their tip qualifies for an award once a conviction is obtained. No identification is required to pick up the cash rewards, only the correct code number. A tipster can submit a tip by phone, the Silent Observer website, or through the Silent Observer App.
Over the years, the Advisory Committee has developed an air tight system that works to protect the identity of area residents as well as the officers involved. “It is a win/win for helping to keep our community safe”, says Schultz. For more information, go to www.silentobservermuskegon.com.