This NIJ Journal article presents tip lines as a way for schools and jurisdictions to gather information on potential threats, and summarizes studies that indicate tip lines are useful for violence prevention when they are implemented as part of a coordinated response to threats.
Tip lines offer a way for schools and jurisdictions to gather information on potential threats. A tip received and acted on in time can prevent school violence and save students’ lives. NIJ’s Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (CSSI) funded an array of studies that address the design, implementation, and effectiveness of tip lines as a school safety tool. This NIJ Journal article summarizes the available results from those studies, which indicate that tip lines may be useful for violence prevention when they are implemented as part of a coordinated overall response to threats. The article discusses a variety of tip lines around the United States — such as Colorado’s Safe2Tell and Nevada’s SafeVoice — to explore how tip lines can be used to gather information and what role they can play in monitoring and responding to threats. The article concludes with directions for future research, including evaluating the cost-effectiveness of different tip-gathering strategies and coordinating responses in multijurisdictional environments.