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Local law enforcement agencies launch new tip service

As a result of a county-wide partnership, the Lewiston-Auburn 9-1-1 Center has begun accepting anonymous reports of underage age drinking and drug use via text message, website and mobile application.

The program, known as AndroTip, allows concerned citizens, parents and teens to anonymously submit information they might otherwise feel uncomfortable reporting. The information is sent through a Canadian server, which encrypts the information and sends it to the L-A 9-1-1 communications center. The text the Center receives is stripped of any identifying name or number information.

“The tipster can make a report in any of three ways,” said L-A 911 Director Phyllis Gamache. “They can text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES), they can download a free TipSubmit mobile app for iPhone or Android, or they can submit a tip online at www.healthyandroscoggin.org. The tip will go directly to an on-duty dispatcher, who will forward the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency.”

The program is funded by a grant provided by the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and a Drug Free Communities Grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. While its primary purpose is to keep kids safe from underage drinking and drug abuse, the AndroTip program can be used to anonymously report information on any type of illegal activity occurring in Androscoggin County.

“This has been an excellent collaborative effort on the part of the Lewiston and Auburn Police Departments, as well as the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department, the Lisbon Police Department, and Healthy Androscoggin,” said Auburn Police Chief Phil Crowell. “We are united in working to keep our kids safe during this year’s prom and graduation season.”

“While this is a year-round effort by law enforcement to ensure our children grow up safely, prom and graduation season is a perfect time to launch the AndroTip program,” said Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere. “I’m hopeful that the anonymous nature of the service will encourage greater involvement from the community.”

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