Silent Observer

Silent Observer empowers our citizens to stand up and speak out against crime. Anonymous tip lines offer community members a safe and anonymous way to report information about serious crime.

You will never be asked your name. 

Anonymous tips are received by Ottawa County Central Dispatch via the local Silent Observer tip platforms. The phone is a stand-alone instrument which does not provide caller ID, and conversations are not recorded. The Silent Observer coordinator receiving the information, completes the tips information form, makes initial inquiries, and then passes the information to the investigating officer. Similarly, the online tip form and text platform used by Ottawa County Central Dispatch provides anonymity to the tipster. The process is completely secure and is a very effective and efficient means of safely communicating with us in today’s world.

Our online tip process is powered by the world’s leading online tip solution provider, P3 Tips.  The very unique integrated Two-Way Dialog capabilities allow the tipster to come back and provide additional information to their tip at any time, but also provides a secure means for the coordinator to ask questions or provide reward information back to the tipster through the same secure and encrypted interface.

The citizens of Ottawa County are served by three separate non-profit Silent Observer organizations: Northwest Ottawa County Silent Observer, Holland / Zeeland Silent Observer, and Eastern Ottawa County Silent Observer.  Each of the three Silent Observer organizations has a governing board for administration of the individual programs and is comprised of representatives from chambers of commerce, law enforcement, central dispatch, business owners and community stakeholders.

Since the start of Silent Observer, many tips have been received resulting in thousands of arrests and recovery of substantial amounts of property. Calls have included information about murder, robbery, sexual assault, assault, drug and firearm offenses.

If you are not sure that what you saw or heard is really a crime, call anyway. Let the police decide if it’s worth investigating. It may be a piece of a clue to a big crime.