A new smartphone application has been developed to help the Pennsylvania State police receive reports regarding suspicious activity that may be linked to terrorism.
"This app provides concerned citizens with an effective communications and reporting tool," State police Commissioner Frank Noonan said. "The 'See Something, Send Something' mobile app, developed by My Mobile Witness, sends terrorism-related tips directly to PaCIC where tips are evaluated by analysts and assigned for investigation as warranted," Noonan said.
The application, which is available at no cost for iPhone and Android phone users, also includes information on what to look for and when to report suspicious activity, along with how to receive important alerts.
"No one knows what goes on in your neighborhood better than you," Noonan said. "You may see or hear things that seem out of the ordinary and raise your suspicions. If you see something suspicious taking place, report it.
"One tip from an alert citizen can prove valuable and protect Pennsylvania from a potential terrorist act," Noonan said.
My Mobile Witness uses patent-pending privacy protection software for safeguarding the integrity of tips and citizens' personal information. The system allows the PaCIC to engage citizens without tracking location or storing of personal information.
Submitted tips are immediately removed from the mobile device and purged from the My Mobile Witness system once delivered to the intelligence center for analysis.
Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious activity. For that reason, the public 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.
Only reports that document behavior reasonably indicative of criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with local, state and federal partners.
"Prevention is everyone's responsibility," Noonan said. "We are one neighborhood, one state, one nation, and it is the responsibility of all to remain vigilant and to report suspicious behavior. One report can make a difference."
The Pennsylvania State police have been receiving terrorism-related tips from the public since 2003.
Call 911 in the case of an immediate threat or emergency.
This article originally appeared on the Canon-McMillan Patch.
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