To All Monmouth County Residents & Visitors:
The world we live in has changed probably forever. The horror that befell the innocents in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 keenly affected us all. While the tragedy brought with it a new sense of American vulnerability, it also renewed our appreciation of the freedoms that we all enjoy and hold dear and rekindled the American spirit. We are now faced with new dangers, but we are a great people and will rise to the task and acquit ourselves just as Americans have always done in times of crisis. As before, we will not face these challenges alone, but as a nation galvanized by our common history, democratic ideals, compassion and enduring optimism. In other words, the safety of each of us, has become the responsibility of all us.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office maintains an Office of Homeland Security which works in close cooperation with all of the local police departments within Monmouth County, as well as the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force which is operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government or civilian population, or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives. The goal of terrorism is to create fear and panic hoping that this will lead to the disruption of our daily services and our way of life.
The public is strongly encouraged to report suspicious activity. The prompt and detailed reporting of suspicious activity can help prevent violent crime and terrorist attacks. If you see or become aware of suspicious activity that is emergent in nature, please report it to your local police department or 911. Local law enforcement officers can respond quickly. Once they assess the situation, they can obtain additional support. If you know of, suspect, or hear of any information regarding anyone planning or plotting a terror attack you must notify the Authorities immediately.
New Jersey is centrally located with a population of almost nine million people, and it has a vast transportation infrastructure of roads, bridges, tunnels, rail systems, buses, ports and airports which are vital and potential targets of terrorism. Other potential targets could include:
- Schools and educational facilities
- Commercial buildings, shopping centers and government buildings
- Religious facilities
- Financial centers
- Health care facilities
- Communication facilities,
- Sports arenas and entertainment centers
- Military facilities
- Utilities (fuel storage, electrical, gas lines and storage etc.)
- Any Site where large amounts of people gather.
If You See Something, Say Something
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) national public awareness campaign “If You See Something, Say Something™” is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and violent crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper state and local law enforcement authorities. For additional information regarding the “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign visit: www.dhs.gov/ifyouseesomethingsaysomething
Learn How To Spot Suspicious Activity
Law enforcement agencies need citizens to report suspicious activity, even if it ultimately turns out to be of a non-criminal nature. Without sources of information there would be no investigation. Your judgment is the most important element in determining what is suspicious. In most cases, it may not be a single indicator but a combination of indicators occurring at a particular time and place that will accurately identify a suspicious person or act.
When determining whether activity is suspicious, please remember to focus on the actual behavior. Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation are not suspicious.
Use your judgment in determining whether or not there is unusual or suspicious activity in your community or work environment. All you really need to do is to pay attention to those activities and people who seem out of place. Never confront or try to directly investigate something that is suspicious and, never put yourself in harm’s way, call 911.
Some Common Signs of Possible Terrorist Activity
Unusual Requests for Information
Unusual requests for information can be a warning sign of terrorist activity.
- Terrorists may seek to gain information about a place, person, staffing and security protocols and security systems.
- Do not give out sensitive information unless you know the party you are talking to.
Unusual interest in targets or locations where people are known to gather
The following are examples of activities that if observed should cause a heightened sense of concern.
- People who look like they are conducting a surveillance
- People taking inappropriate photographs or videos
- People using binoculars or night vision devices
- People taking notes or drawing diagrams of locations
Areas where people gather for celebrations and special events could be potential terror targets. Also mass transit locations have been targeted locations.
People who act suspiciously
Unusual activity does not necessarily mean that terrorist activity in taking place but if observed it should be reported to the authorities.
- People who act furtively and attempt to conceal themselves
- People avoiding eye contact
- People who depart quickly when seen or approached
- People in places or locations that they do not belong
- People who may be wearing a disguise
- People who may breach security as a test
- People who pay excessive attention to security measures
- People who use fraudulent identification
- Vehicles that are parked in prohibited locations
- Broken down or abandoned vehicles left in central locations or high traffic areas
- Vehicles that appear to be weighted down in the trunk area
- Vehicles containing explosives, propane tanks, fuel containers or compressed cylinders
- Vehicles that are emitting an odor of propane, fuel, chemical smell or acidic material.
- Vehicles that are leaking fluids
- Could be an object such as a package, suitcase, briefcase, backpack, duffle bag or container that would be left in an area where people are known to gather.
- Could be one of the above that’s someone left and walked away from
- Could be an object that has been hidden from view
- Could be an object that may be discolored, stained, emit an odor, have bulges, protruding wires or making a ticking sound
Reporting Suspicious Activity
When reporting suspicious activity, it is helpful to provide the most accurate information possible, including:
- A brief description of the activity
- The date, time and location of the activity
- Physical identifiers of anyone you observe
- Description of vehicles
- Information about where the people involved in the suspicious activity may have gone
- Your name and contact information (optional)
Or you can remember the Five “Ws”
- What is happening?
- Who is doing it?
- Where is it taking place?
- When did you observe it”
- Why is it suspicious?
If you encounter suspicious activity (especially of it is emergent in nature) you should immediately report it to your local police department or call 911. In addition, suspicious activity can be reported to the New Jersey Office of Homeland and Preparedness which operates a professionally staffed 24 Hour Toll Free Tip Line by calling 866-4-SAFE-NJ or 866-472-3365.
- Reporting can also be made by calling 211
- Faxing (609)530-3650
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful web sites for additional information: