ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

E-tips program targets drinking



ELLSWORTH — The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies have joined with Healthy Acadia to launch the E-Tips program, which is aimed at preventing underage drinking and illegal substance use.

E-Tips allows individuals who witness or hear about underage drinking and/or illegal drug activities to anonymously text a tip to law enforcement. The process for providing a tip is simple: text 274637 (CRIMES) and begin the tip with the word “Hancock” followed by your message about underage drinking/illegal drug activities.

The tip is immediately encrypted to guarantee the tipster’s anonymity as it is routed through a server in Canada before being directed back to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. A patrol supervisor will receive an email and text message with the tip.

“Given that anonymity, or lack thereof, could be the sole determining factor between providing information or not, this program is another tool that offers the public a conduit for information sharing. At the same time, it protects the reporter’s identity. From an investigative standpoint, it’s much easier to be proactive with these types of investigations, rather than reactive, spending countless hours dealing with the aftermath,” said Lt. Christopher Thornton.

This program is made possible with funding from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the efforts of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. Contact Thornton at 667-7575 or [email protected].

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