Community

Anonymous text to tip platform, Project Stand Up, aims to enhance safety in Cavalier County

Project Stand Up became activated in every North Dakota city and county at noon last Friday. North Dakota became the eighth state to activate Project Stand Up. People can report potential problems in every school such as suicide risk, threats of violence, bullying, vandalism, or cheating by texting SAFE to 82257. The information will be instantly relayed to the superintendent of the school district as well as to the law enforcement agency within that area. People in the community can also report suspected drug activity by texting DRUGS to 82257. Those tips will be instantly directed to the sheriff’s department covering the area where the call originated.

The North Dakota Sheriff’s Association started the new program in the state, and it has been endorsed by state agencies and different officials, including the North Dakota Police Chiefs Association, the governor, the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, and the North Dakota School Board Association.

Founder David Bean started the platform last year in South Dakota to help with the drug problem. Since then, more than 600 drug crime investigations were initiated from the service.

“What my whole mission is is to get our citizens off their butts and to communicate with law enforcement about information they know,” Bean said.

To send a school safety tip, students, teachers, or parents can text the word SAFE to 82257. It works the same for drugs – community members can report illegal drug activity by texting DRUGS to 82257, and the caller will not be identified.

Sheriff Greg Fetsch said that he has talked with the schools in Cavalier County about Project Stand Up and that he is excited for the program to start helping make our county a safer place to raise our families and to keep our children safe.

Fetsch stated, “This program is a way to get our citizens in Cavalier County to help be our eyes and ears and to send a text without them worrying about anyone finding out who sent it. It is an anonymous way to give us a tip about what is happening when we would have no way of finding out otherwise. We need your help because we can’t be everywhere all the time.”

Remember, this is a free program now because Sanford Health has agreed to support the database. There are no county tax dollars involved. If anyone would be willing to donated to the program for a tax deduction, you can contact Sheriff Greg Fetsch, and he will be happy to get you in contact with David Bean, the founder of the program.

Remember the numbers: type SAFE to 82257 for school safety, and DRUGS to 82257 for drug-related activity.