Minneapolis introduces tip line to combat youth violenceby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Starting Monday Minneapolis students will be able to call or text a tip line to report potential violent incidents.
The program, which is already used in several U.S. cities, is available 24 hours and allows the caller to be anonymous. Karen Kelley-Ariwoola, a co-chair of the city's youth violence prevention effort called Blueprint for Action, said often young people are reluctant to tell on their peers who are threatening to engage in violence.
"But in fact a lot of the kids say, sometimes we know who has a gun, we know who the shooters are, we know when there's going to be a fight at school or an incident of retaliation, but we don't have anyone to tell," Kelley-Ariwoola said.
She said a recent study on school violence found that often kids planning to commit violence tell their friends about it.
"In 81 percent of school shootings, at least one other person had information about the plan before it happened," she said. "So, I think, the bottom line is that sometimes young people aren't that savvy; if they have a gun they show it to somebody."
The calls and messages will be answered by trained crisis counselors. Kelley-Ariwoola said the counselors will not be able to trace the origins of the calls.