Ottawa County has 3 separate Silent Observer programs which partner the Law Enforcement and Business communities.
Each Silent Observer organization has with their own governance structure and does their own fund rasing and tip awarding.
•Holland / Zeeland (Southwestern area) – founded in 1977
•Grand Haven / Spring Lake / Ferrysburg (Northwestern area) founded in the 1980`s
•Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department (Central and east area) founded in the 1980’s
•In 2010 Ottawa County Central Dispatch partnered with the 3 Silent Observer organizations to combine the call taking for all 3 organizations into one number.
•This resulted in cost savings to the organizations by not having to maintain their individual phones and staffing.
•This also made it much easier for news releases using on phone number for Ottawa County crime tips.
•1-877–88–SILENT (745368) is answered 24/7
•July 2010 – Toll free 1-877-88-SILENT number goes live answering Silent Observer calls for the 3 SO organizations in Ottawa County (bumper stickers are put on all Law Enforcement and Public Transit vehicles advertising the new number).
•July 2010 – Tip Soft reporting system implemented for tip administration.
•October 2010 – MOSOTIPS.Com website is established for the Ottawa County Silent Observer program. Over 30,000 hits since the program was launched.