Statewide texting platform may enhance school safety and report drug crime

CASS COUNTY, N.D. – The Cass County Sheriff’s Office is moving forward with the statewide anonymous texting platform designed to enhance school safety and report drug crime. Project Stand Up For School Safety and Project Stand Up to Drug Crime was activated in every North Dakota city and county in August 2018. North Dakota is now the 8th state to use the Project Stand Up for School Safety program.

The program allows individuals a simplistic anonymous approach to report suspicious behavior, threats and violence in every school by texting SAFE to 82257. The information provided by the tipster is delivered to law enforcement officials in an instantaneous manner. Students, parents, and community members may use the text, 24/7, with the promise that their information will get to authorities quickly without revealing their personal identity. Tips involving student issues such as suicide, shootings, larceny, bullying and vandalism can be immediately reported to law enforcement using this platform.

Students and community members can also report illegal drug activities by texting DRUGS to 82257.

“Living in a rural community sometimes creates problems when it comes to reporting crimes. Everyone wants to live in a community that is safe to raise their family and not have their focus be on criminal activity. This program allows residents, through text messaging, the ability to pass the information to our office and remain anonymous. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office will continue to work hard to build partnerships with our rural residents and community partners in an effort to reduce criminal activity. Project Standup will assist in accomplishing our mission,” Sheriff Jahner.

Groups that support and endorse the program include: the North Dakota Governor’s Office, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, the North Dakota Attorney General, the North Dakota Sheriff’s and Deputies Association, the North Dakota Police Chiefs Association, The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and the North Dakota School Board Association.

“As a Sheriff’s Office, we will work collaboratively with our citizens to prevent crime and make our communities a safer place to live. Having this type of a program in place, with an instantaneous response, can only help us in achieving this goal. With the successful partnership established with Sanford we can accomplish this free of charge,” Sheriff Jahner.

Project Stand Up started in South Dakota in May 2017. After two years of implementation, more than 1,000 drug crime investigations and over 50 school related incidents were initiated from the anonymous text tips. Project Stand Up for School Safety was developed soon after the Parkland, FL school shootings using the same technology and law enforcement data bases from the drug tip program.

Project Stand Up is managed by a non-profit organization that secures funding from corporations, foundations and individuals.

Below is a link to the safe schools demonstration video: