Jan 09

MPD Tipline

There were some questions recently on one of the neighborhood listservs regarding how and when to use the MPD text-message tipline, 50-411.

You can read about the 50-411 tipline and accompanying telephone tipline, (202) 727-9099, here:


We had the pleasure of hearing from Commander Wil Manlapaz and Lieutenant David Augustine at this week’s meeting of the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition. One of the things we learned from the officers is that the tipline is not meant to be used for reporting crimes in progress. Instead, it is meant for tips that might be used to solve serious unsolved crimes (for example if you know who might have caused a homicide, robbery, etc).

If you observe a crime in progress (for example, drug sales in progress, someone in possession of a concealed weapon, or someone making noisy threats), you should call 911, no matter how small the crime. This way, a dispatcher can ask you the questions police need in order to stop a suspect without violating his or her constitutional rights. Make sure to offer your phone number for a call back (the courts have said that the police cannot make a stop or search a suspect based solely on an anonymous tip).

What if you have other info for the police not related to a crime in progress or a particular unsolved crime? (For example, a house in your area appears to be a hotspot for drug activity) You can contact your local police substation and ask to speak to the lieutenant in charge of your police service area. You can find this contact info here: http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/police-districts-and-police-service-areas

Thank you to everyone who attended the UNC meeting on Wednesday and for your interest in neighborhood safety!