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  • Anonymous tips, waving to cops, ladies of the night, upside down plate

    I have a few unrelated questions listed in decreasing order of importance. They range from the rather serious to the very silly. I am most interested in Question #1, but would enjoy reading responses to any of the questions.
    Thanks much for any input regarding any or all questions.


    1.)

    Suppose I want to provide an anonymous tip to law enforcement, either to the local police or to the FBI. Does that mean law enforcement does not know who I am or how to reach me? What is the best way to provide such an anonymous tip to ensure I really do remain anonymous? The best way I can think of is to use a pay phone or to go to the trouble of typing and mailing an unsigned letter while wearing gloves. My fingerprints are on file since I have worked for the federal government. Do the police take these kinds of anonymous tips seriously? Or does “anonymous” mean the police know exactly who I am and how to reach me, and they keep that information secret? If I sent the tip via an anonymous email could my identity be determined via my IP address or via some other technique? The Akron Ohio Police Department, for example, has a webpage for sending in tips. The tipster need not provide any contact information. However, can their identity be determined somehow via their IP address? The FBI also has a webpage for sending in tips, but that site requests a lot of contact information.


    2.)

    How do the police feel about strangers on the street waving, “Hello”? Does it make you feel appreciated, or do you wonder if the person is trying to flag you down over some emergency? Would you rather the person just not acknowledge you at all? I waved to a (male) cop at a red light as I was crossing in the crosswalk, and afterwards I wondered if my unexpected hand motion had “freaked him out” especially since I had something metallic in one hand (my keys).


    3.)

    This question might antagonize, but it is asked strictly out of curiosity. Once during a 3 month period I drove through D.C. at 2:00AM every day on my way to work. Almost every night at one particular spot I would pass a group of ladies of the night. It got me thinking that if I knew these ladies were there virtually every night the police probably did too. Indeed, it seemed as if this spot was not real far from a police precinct. Is stopping that sort of activity harder than the public might think, or is it just a low priority? Perhaps stopping it requires constant "sting" or undercover operations? I’ve heard stories of some ladies being arrested dozens of times, so maybe it is literally impossible to stop once a local gathering place has been established.


    4.)

    Once a mechanic put some new license plates on my vehicle for me and he put the front one on upside down. I drove around with the plate like that for quite an extended period of time without any police officers ever saying anything about it. Could I have received a citation for that? Would you have given me a citation?


    5.)

    Similarly, once the DMV randomly handed me license plates with a rather suggestive and marginally offensive alpha-numeric sequence. They were not vanity plates. This question is even sillier than Question 4, but do states maintain a set of alpha-numeric sequences that they simply will refuse to allow on a vanity plate because those sequences are deemed too socially inappropriate?



    Thanks again, sincerely, for any comments or replies. I am most interested in Question #1, but would enjoy reading responses to any of the questions.

  • #2
    Anonymous is that: anonymous. If, however, you have credible information that would assist in an investigation, you should allow someone to contact you. You can still ask to keep your name out of a report, but you can answer additional questions if they arise. By the way, confidential informants are not held in high regard, but anonymous complainants are usually given the consideration that their information warrants. If you give a blanket statement, such as, "They are selling drugs at such and such address," it will take a while for someone to check it out. If you have information about a current investigation that has not been widely reported, you may move to the head of the class.
    Jerry
    "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Redstart
      I have a few unrelated questions listed in decreasing order of importance. They range from the rather serious to the very silly. I am most interested in Question #1, but would enjoy reading responses to any of the questions.
      Thanks much for any input regarding any or all questions.


      1.)

      Suppose I want to provide an anonymous tip to law enforcement, either to the local police or to the FBI. Does that mean law enforcement does not know who I am or how to reach me? What is the best way to provide such an anonymous tip to ensure I really do remain anonymous? The best way I can think of is to use a pay phone or to go to the trouble of typing and mailing an unsigned letter while wearing gloves. My fingerprints are on file since I have worked for the federal government. Do the police take these kinds of anonymous tips seriously? Or does “anonymous” mean the police know exactly who I am and how to reach me, and they keep that information secret? If I sent the tip via an anonymous email could my identity be determined via my IP address or via some other technique? The Akron Ohio Police Department, for example, has a webpage for sending in tips. The tipster need not provide any contact information. However, can their identity be determined somehow via their IP address? The FBI also has a webpage for sending in tips, but that site requests a lot of contact information.

      There are two types that I can think of. The first is an anonymous tip...like you described it can be phoned in or received by mail. The information in the tip would determine how many resources are devoted to it. Information about the president would probably be handled differently than a tip that so and so uses drugs. The second would be a confidential informant that the police knows, but secures their identity.

      2.)

      How do the police feel about strangers on the street waving, “Hello”? Does it make you feel appreciated, or do you wonder if the person is trying to flag you down over some emergency? Would you rather the person just not acknowledge you at all? I waved to a (male) cop at a red light as I was crossing in the crosswalk, and afterwards I wondered if my unexpected hand motion had “freaked him out” especially since I had something metallic in one hand (my keys).

      I have no problems with people waving or saying hello. I always have people wave or honk and have no idea who they are. Sometimes people meet us and recognize us, but we meet so many people that I have no clue who they were. Unless your aiming a bazooka at me I dont think your keys in your hand would "freak me out". If you want to wave/say hello please do so as the other 99% of the people are staring,giving us the bird,etc. (maybe not that many)
      3.)

      This question might antagonize, but it is asked strictly out of curiosity. Once during a 3 month period I drove through D.C. at 2:00AM every day on my way to work. Almost every night at one particular spot I would pass a group of ladies of the night. It got me thinking that if I knew these ladies were there virtually every night the police probably did too. Indeed, it seemed as if this spot was not real far from a police precinct. Is stopping that sort of activity harder than the public might think, or is it just a low priority? Perhaps stopping it requires constant "sting" or undercover operations? I’ve heard stories of some ladies being arrested dozens of times, so maybe it is literally impossible to stop once a local gathering place has been established.

      Prostitution is a tough crime to arrest for and usually involves a vice sting. It is a misdemeanor and has to occur in our presence for us to arrest. Not many prostitutes are going to be working while we are parked there. Vice stings usually take a lot of resources to make misd. arrests and some departments dont have the available resources to devote to it. Don't get me wrong though...I know that prostitutes bring a lot of other problems(drugs,pimps,littering used condoms,needles,etc) and can be a quality of life issue so by all means complain if it is an issue for you.
      4.)

      Once a mechanic put some new license plates on my vehicle for me and he put the front one on upside down. I drove around with the plate like that for quite an extended period of time without any police officers ever saying anything about it. Could I have received a citation for that? Would you have given me a citation?

      I very rarely even give NO front plate tickets let alone an honest mistake of putting it upside down. I dont think you have anything to worry about with that.

      5.)

      Similarly, once the DMV randomly handed me license plates with a rather suggestive and marginally offensive alpha-numeric sequence. They were not vanity plates. This question is even sillier than Question 4, but do states maintain a set of alpha-numeric sequences that they simply will refuse to allow on a vanity plate because those sequences are deemed too socially inappropriate?


      Thanks again, sincerely, for any comments or replies. I am most interested in Question #1, but would enjoy reading responses to any of the questions.

      Vanity plates in CA are reviewed for content and yes some are not allowed. When you go to DMV there is a book of vanity plates already taken and then you submit your request. Offensive/obscene plates are rejected. (At least thats how it was a few years back)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Redstart

        1.)

        Suppose I want to provide an anonymous tip to law enforcement, either to the local police or to the FBI. Does that mean law enforcement does not know who I am or how to reach me? What is the best way to provide such an anonymous tip to ensure I really do remain anonymous?

        Isn't "Crime Stoppers" international (Canada/USA & more)? I know they're 100% annonymous.
        --"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
        --"Run XC"

        Comment


        • #5
          1.) I made a living for twelve years mostly on information from "anonymous" sources. We never had any contributor "outed" save for one who went and ran his own mouth. IMHO, the bigger the player, the bigger the risk. If you're providing information that may lead to the arrest of the governor you may want to take precautions to remain absolutely anonymous but perhaps establish a contact person within the department and be known only as "Lucy" or "Larry" or whatever. It helps if you have continued contacts because information from a "known and reliable source" can be considered probable cause whereas a truly anonymous piece of information only provides law enforcement with "suspicion". If you do reveal your real name to law enforcement for the purposes of providing information the court cannot demand that they reveal your identity as long as all you've done is point them in the right direction of a given offense. If you take an active role in the investigation beyond simply passing along information or observations then you may become "discoverable" though most cases proceed without a "discoverable" witness being identified.


          2.) Please feel free to wave and say hello. It doesn't hurt our feeling to know that someone out there appreciates what we do.

          3.) The world's oldest proffession. It's going to happen no matter what the police do. So... is it better to turn half a blind eye and know where it's happening and who's involved or is it better to run them into the deepest darkest corners of the city where the John's and the "ladies" are both more likely to become the victims of violent crimes, robberies etc...

          4.) I dunno. We don't require a front plate here but I'd imagine most states have a statute for improper display. True enough that it wouldn't rank high on the average officer's list of things he's looking to do today.


          5.) Yes, most if not all states will refuse to issue inappropriate alpha-numeric sequences.

          Have a great day.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Redstart
            1.)

            Suppose I want to provide an anonymous tip to law enforcement, either to the local police or to the FBI. Does that mean law enforcement does not know who I am or how to reach me? What is the best way to provide such an anonymous tip to ensure I really do remain anonymous? The best way I can think of is to use a pay phone or to go to the trouble of typing and mailing an unsigned letter while wearing gloves. My fingerprints are on file since I have worked for the federal government. Do the police take these kinds of anonymous tips seriously? Or does “anonymous” mean the police know exactly who I am and how to reach me, and they keep that information secret? If I sent the tip via an anonymous email could my identity be determined via my IP address or via some other technique? The Akron Ohio Police Department, for example, has a webpage for sending in tips. The tipster need not provide any contact information. However, can their identity be determined somehow via their IP address? The FBI also has a webpage for sending in tips, but that site requests a lot of contact information.
            Hmm, I would highly recommend wearing a tin-foil hat while using a pay phone in another country. You may also want to invest in a full body condom suit to prevent your skin flakes from gathering near the phone that they might use to track you down.

            2.)

            How do the police feel about strangers on the street waving, “Hello”? Does it make you feel appreciated, or do you wonder if the person is trying to flag you down over some emergency? Would you rather the person just not acknowledge you at all? I waved to a (male) cop at a red light as I was crossing in the crosswalk, and afterwards I wondered if my unexpected hand motion had “freaked him out” especially since I had something metallic in one hand (my keys).
            All I ask is that you wave with all your fingers. Those one finger waves are getting old.

            3.)

            This question might antagonize, but it is asked strictly out of curiosity. Once during a 3 month period I drove through D.C. at 2:00AM every day on my way to work. Almost every night at one particular spot I would pass a group of ladies of the night. It got me thinking that if I knew these ladies were there virtually every night the police probably did too. Indeed, it seemed as if this spot was not real far from a police precinct. Is stopping that sort of activity harder than the public might think, or is it just a low priority? Perhaps stopping it requires constant "sting" or undercover operations? I’ve heard stories of some ladies being arrested dozens of times, so maybe it is literally impossible to stop once a local gathering place has been established.
            Its the oldest profession for a reason. Officer's could run sting operations 24 hours a day/7 days a week and make only a dent. An old vice cop I once knew used to say, "There's more Ho's then handcuffs."

            4.)

            Once a mechanic put some new license plates on my vehicle for me and he put the front one on upside down. I drove around with the plate like that for quite an extended period of time without any police officers ever saying anything about it. Could I have received a citation for that? Would you have given me a citation?
            Yes you can get a citation for that. Its called Improper Display of Plates. I would stop you for sure, but probably issue a fix-it ticket.

            5.)

            Similarly, once the DMV randomly handed me license plates with a rather suggestive and marginally offensive alpha-numeric sequence. They were not vanity plates. This question is even sillier than Question 4, but do states maintain a set of alpha-numeric sequences that they simply will refuse to allow on a vanity plate because those sequences are deemed too socially inappropriate?
            Yes they review all vanity plates for content prior to issuance. Every once in a while you see one that slips by the censors. Always good for a laugh.
            \

            Comment


            • #7
              Just wanted to say thanks sincerely for the replies. I'm pretty sure law enforcement has no DNA sample from me on record for comparison, but I'll be careful.

              Comment

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