CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) — A new app feature in the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office app is helping school resource officers in the county keep students safe.

The app, available in the Google Play and the Apple App Store under the name “Anderson County Sheriff,” recently was updated to include an anonymous tip line. On Wednesday, a tip submitted through the app helped ACSO and the sheriff’s office investigate a potential threat that was found to be noncredible.

Anderson County Sheriff Russell Barker said the tip line was added to the app after the Covenant School Shooting, but it is there for anyone in the community to submit tips about any suspicious activity that law enforcement might need to investigate.

“Tips are important because we can’t be everywhere at once. We have to have the community to be our eyes and ears. You know, I have often told people, ‘hey, if you see something that is suspicious to you or something you think just isn’t quite right, [report it.]’ Lots of times you’ll hear them say, ‘well, we didn’t want to bother you with it.’ And it turns out that, you know, there was a burglary in progress or some. Well call us because it gives us a legal reason to be there. It gives us an opportunity to investigate it and I can promise you we would much rather run on a hundred of these and they be unfounded, as opposed to find out what has happened after the fact,” Barker said.

Wednesday morning, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office investigated a tip made through their app about a potential threat against Clinton High School in a social media post. Barker said it was submitted at some point between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in reference to some online posts made by a former student at the school, Barker said.

When it came through in the morning, ACSO, the School Resource Officer, the school system and the principal were notified and a soft lockdown was in place at the school as students arrived to the school. He added that no pickups or drop offs were affected by the lock down.

The investigation wrapped up quickly after deputies found the person who made the post, a former student at the school, and determined that the posts were not a credible threat.

“What we learned was is after reviewing it and interviewing him, it was unfounded, but it was definitely the right thing to do by submitting that tip and we completely see how someone could have looked at that,” Barker said. “Honestly it was just he didn’t realize the optics of what he was posting and what someone may how they may interpret that.”

Barker emphasized that the person who submitted the tip definitely did the right thing and it was understandable how they concluded that it was a potential threat. While the tip line was added to the app after the Covenant School shooting in March 2023, Barker said the tip line is there for any tips about suspicious activity that need to be submitted to the sheriff’s office, not just potential school threats.

In addition to the anonymous tip line, the app connects users with current information from the sheriff’s office, access to crime information, community resources and more.