A POLICE CHIEF WRITES: The nationwide “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities.
If you see something suspicious taking place, report that behavior or activity to local law enforcement — or in the case of emergency, call 911.
Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious. For that reason, the public should report only suspicious behavior and situations — e.g., an unattended backpack in a public place or someone trying to break into a restricted area) rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech unrelated to terrorism or other criminal activity.
Only reports that document behavior reasonably indicative of criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with federal partners.
An alert public plays a critical role in keeping our nation safe.
Beware of scammers
Almost immediately after the bombings in Boston, scams hoping to take advantage of those offering aid to victims started popping up around the Internet.
According to the New York Daily News, more than 20 websites were registered Monday with domain names such as:
If you get a phone call from an organization called “Donations for the Boston Explosion,” that’s a scam, according to Blue Alert, an an organization dedicated to the arrest of criminals who injure police officers.
The Township of Washington Community Policing Unit provided the following tips to people wishing to help:
• Only give to charities you personally know and trust— or do more homework before contributing;
• Be suspicious of immediate donation requests. Scammers know we are all feeling an urgent need to help and they will capitalize on it;
• Remember it is not necessary to donate immediately. Take your time and donate to a legitimate organization that is offering assistance to victims. Victims will need your help not just today – but in the days to come;
• Don’t give in to pressure. Tell the solicitor you want to take time to make your decision;
• Don’t pay by cash. Pay by check and make it out to the charity (using its full name, not initials)– not to the fundraiser;
• Never give your credit card number to a fundraiser over the phone;
• If the fundraiser comes to your door, always ask for identification. Or you can take the fundraiser’s information and mail your check directly to the charity;
• Don’t be fooled by a name. Some phone charities, including for-profit companies, have sympathetic-sounding names, or names that closely resemble those of respected, legitimate charities.
You can contribute to The Red Cross disaster fund. And the Salvation Army is providing support to survivors and first responders.
This marks 40 years that Washington Township Police Chief Randy Ciocco has been a member of the department. The township’s fifth chief, he officially took over in October 2010 afer serving as active chief for five months. Those who know him praise Ciocco for his communication skills.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.