Hancock County Law Enforcement and Healthy Acadia launch E-Tips Program
Preventing underage drinking and illegal substance use takes community involvement and coordination. Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies have joined with Healthy Acadia to launch the E-Tips program, which is aimed at engaging Hancock County residents to help in this effort.
E-Tips allows individuals who witness or hear about underage drinking and/or illegal drug activities to anonymously text a tip to law enforcement. The process for providing a tip is simple: text 274637 (CRIMES) and begin the tip with the word “Hancock” followed by your message about underage drinking/illegal drug activities. The tip is immediately encrypted to guarantee the tipster’s anonymity as it is routed through a server in Canada before being directed back to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. A patrol supervisor will receive an e-mail and text message with the tip. According to Lt. Christopher Thornton of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, “Given that anonymity, or lack thereof, could be the sole determining factor between providing information or not, this program is another tool that offers the public a conduit for information sharing. At the same time, it protects the reporter’s identity. From an investigative standpoint, it’s much easier to be proactive with these types of investigations, rather than reactive, spending countless hours dealing with the aftermath.”
“E-Tips flyers and pamphlets will be distributed throughout Hancock County towns and schools, to promote the E-Tips line and empower residents to take an active role in promoting community health and safety,” said Tara Young from Healthy Acadia. This program is made possible with funding from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the generous efforts of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. For more information on the E-Tips program, please contact Lt. Christopher Thornton at 207-667-7575 or [email protected].