New mobile app will help New Yorkers report suspicious activity

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the “See Something, Send Something” campaign, which encourages New Yorkers to report suspicious activity through a simple mobile app on their smart phone. The app (available here), alongside new public service announcements for the campaign, is one of the many ways the state is working to protect New Yorkers from terrorism.

"This new app is another tool in the fight against terrorism—and by using the eyes and ears of every NewYorker we can gain more insight on suspicious activity," Governor Cuomo said. "In addition to increased precautionary security measures and law enforcement we put in place, we are asking everyone to remain vigilant and that if you see something suspicious, use the app and let us know. Despite the tremendous pain and loss that terrorist attacks around the world have caused the people of this state, the family of New York stands stronger than ever before."

“See Something, Send Something” allows anyone to capture suspicious activity as a photo or written note and send the information to the New York State Intelligence Center. From there, the tip will be reviewed and if relevant, sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Public service announcements promoting the campaign (view here) will be played at DMV offices and service areas along state highways.

By using the app, there is no worry about who to send the tip to or what phone number to call—users can simply send a photo of the suspicious activity using their device’s camera, by choosing a photo from its library, or sending a written note.

“The crime-solving, tip-sharing process is evolving and so are the New York State Police. This app works just like a traditional telephone crime tip line or hotline, except it is available with the touch of a finger on a handheld device,” said Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico. “If you see something that may be linked to terrorism, send something. Your tip could provide valuable information that could prevent a tragedy.”

The application, which can be downloaded for free for iPhone and Android phone users, also includes information on what to look for and when to report suspicious activity. The service is already available in Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

In order to keep the app focused on safety, users should report only suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack or briefcase in a public place) rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech unrelated to terrorism or other criminal activity.

John P. Melville, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner, said, “It is important to remember that all New Yorkers have a role in keeping our state safe. Citizens have an obligation to report suspicious activity if they see something out of the ordinary or something that may have the potential to harm others. The new app gives individuals an additional way to alert authorities about possible threats.”

The app does not replace 911 and should not to be used for someone needing immediate police action or to report an emergency. In the case of an immediate threat or emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For a list of frequently asked questions regarding See Something, Send Something click here. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has provided information on how to prevent terrorism and spot suspicious activity here.

Those tips include:

  • Know the normal routines of where you live and work.
  • Be aware of what is going on around you, including suspicious or out of place individuals, vehicles, mail, packages; or luggage abandoned in a crowded place, such as an airport of shopping mall.
  • Be suspicious of individuals recording, watching or unusually photographing or monitoring activities, especially near critical infrastructure

See Something Send Something® mobile handset application available in: Apple Itunes and Android Marketplace.