BCA app allows users to provide tips of threats

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2021

ST. PAUL  — Minnesotans have a new way to provide information about suspected criminal activity.

The Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is employing an app – See It, Say It, Send It – for the public to provide tips about planned or threatened violence at Minnesota schools or places of worship.

Students, parents and school personnel can use the app to provide tips about planned or threatened violence at a school. The BCA will triage the tips, notify local law enforcement and assist as needed with the response to criminal activity. The BCA will work with the Minnesota School Safety Center, the Minnesota Department of Education, and with schools to determine the appropriate response to any tips that aren’t about criminal activity.

In the same way, congregants can use the app to report threats or planned violence at places of worship. The BCA will notify local law enforcement and coordinate with religious facility leadership on a response.

Always call or text 911 first when reporting ongoing incidents and immediate threats. The See It, Say It, Send It app is not intended to replace local law enforcement or an existing school or religious facility security plan, but rather supplement it.

A statewide approach can bring a better understanding of incidents that may involve more than one facility.

“A statewide approach can bring a better understanding of incidents that may involve more than one facility,” said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans. “For example, a local law enforcement agency responding to a threat at a school may not be aware of a similar threat to a school two counties away.”

Law enforcement has always relied upon the public to report threatened criminal activity. This is another way for Minnesotans to share information to help keep communities safe.

“We work hard with Minnesota schools every day to provide a safe and welcoming place for students to learn and thrive,” said Minnesota School Safety Center Director Randy Johnson. “The addition of a tool like this tip app that can help achieve that goal.”

See It, Say It, Send It can be accessed from cell phones and other mobile devices. Tips can be anonymous.

The BCA received funding for the app from a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) STOP School Violence Program. BJA is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.