and unite our
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the back story
How it all started
It’s 2020 and the world needs more hope. When I first conceptualized Tipster in 2018, I would have never imagined this year being full of so much confusion, hatred, pain, and fear. But even back then, I understood the need for us to connect, inform, and unite our communities for a safer nation.
It was springtime and I was on my way to work. I witnessed several police cars lined up on the side of the road and policemen looking for something or someone on foot. When I arrived at the office, I asked if anyone knew what was happening. Nobody had a clue. Later that day, a police officer showed up and asked if I had video surveillance footage of the car parked directly in front of my office window. I did.
The officer informed me that a shooting had occurred down the road at a grocery store and the police were looking for the suspect, who had parked his car in front of my office window. Surveillance footage showed the suspect leaving the vehicle and walking towards the grocery store.
Fortunately, the police caught the suspect in the apartments across the street, but to me, it felt like a close call. Should the local community have been alerted to go on lockdown? What if the suspect had returned for his car? Why was I asked to provide the surveillance footage in such an antiquated way?
Coincidentally, I had already thought of Tipster two months earlier while witnessing what appeared to be drunk drivers two days in a row. During that time, I thought it would be great to be able to pull over and “ping” the nearest cop to quickly avoid a drunk driving disaster. Then I brushed off the idea because I realized the nightmare of logistics required to make that happen and the potential abuse of the app.
But it wasn’t long after that when I experienced another difficult moment that many parents will recognize: momentarily losing sight of my child in a neighborhood for what seemed like an eternity in hell. I realized then the importance of pursuing the mission to update our nation’s public safety communications for the 21st Century.
Fast forward through a chain of events over the next 2.5 years: meeting with government officials, attending national conferences, speaking engagements with law enforcement, my child’s preschool experiencing a lockdown, the COVID-19 pandemic, a terrifying earthquake, and witnessing the horrific footage of a police officer’s murder of George Floyd. Through these experiences, Tipster evolved to what it needed to become.
Creating a safer world has become a passion of mine and I am constantly learning about ways we can improve our society. Over the course of my research, one of the most important pieces I have read is the report put together by the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. This report came together in 2015 with the help of many educated and experienced contributors, including professors, human rights activists and law enforcement leaders. After studying the recommendations, I was happily surprised to find that 61% of them can be implemented digitally. The others would require changing policies, laws, and infrastructure. But before Tipster can help implement these recommendations, we must resolve the current issue at hand: finding common ground for our public safety information.
Communication, trust and respect: these are the three components required in all successful relationships, organizations and societies. With better communication, we can not only recognize local and national issues, but actually fix them. With this improvement, my hope is that Tipster will foster trust and respect within our communities. Step by step, I know we can heal.
Now more than ever, we MUST unite because our nation depends on it. We must share this common belief to carry us into the future. We have a collective responsibility to put aside our differences and envison a safer world for all communities, our children, and future generations to come.
CEO & Founder
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