PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Chief of Emergency Services Alvin Henderson, Jr. and County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt today urged residents to continue to remain vigilant in their communities and if they see something, say something. With efforts by the Pennsylvania State Police, residents can now send something too.
“With the recent explosions in Boston, we are reminded once again that we must remain vigilant and aware of what is going on around us in our communities,” said Chief Henderson. “Federal, state and local officials continue to work together with first responders and the private sector to protect our communities, but the residents are really our eyes and ears.”
While many reports are for harmless items that were left behind or forgotten, Superintendent Moffatt said that may not always be the case and relaying the information is easier now than ever before: “The PA State Police have launched a new smartphone application that allows a person to take a photograph or send a note about suspicious activity that they have seen, which then goes directly to the Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center for evaluation and assignment to an investigator, as appropriate.”
Both officials reminded residents that factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin or religion affiliation along are not suspicious activity. The public should report suspicious behavior and situations rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, association or speech unrelated to criminal activity. There has been an increase in reports since the Boston Marathon. For comparison, there were 186 incidents of suspicious activity reported in the week prior to the Marathon (April 7-13), and 311 incidents reported in the week following (April 14-20).
Chief Henderson said that is neither unusual, nor a negative as officials would rather be safe and check into any reports when they are received: “Our job is to ensure the safety of our community and its residents through prevention, protection, response and recovery. That charge includes responding to man-made and natural all-hazard emergencies, and acts of terrorism.”
Superintendent Moffatt agreed, “One report can make a difference. We investigate all criminal activity and provide assistance to our local police departments and criminal justice agencies. Without the cooperation of residents, and their awareness, our job becomes even more difficult. If you see something, you should say something.”
The “See Something, Send Something” app was developed by My Mobile Witness and is available at no cost to iPhone and Android phone users. You can search for “see send” in the app store, or follow one of the links below on your smartphone:
Android users: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mymobilewitness.seesend
iPhone users: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/see-send/id556069712?1s=1&mt=8
As always, in cases of an imminent threat or emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
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