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New Efforts in New York State to Help Fight Terrorism

by Assoicated Press
November 24, 2015

On Monday, Governor Cuomo announced two new efforts to enhance the New York State's ability to fight terrorism. The new "See Something, Send Something" campaign encourages New Yorkers to report suspicious activity through a simple mobile app on their smart phone. Additionally, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hire 46 more Police Officers to increase counterterrorism capabilities at Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station and throughout the Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road and Staten Island Railway systems.

"These new efforts are essential pieces in our fight against terrorism," Governor Cuomo said. "We have stepped up our preparedness in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, and we continue to remain vigilant against those who seek to spread fear and violence. 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 will be played at DMV offices and service areas along state highways.

By using the app, which can be downloaded for free for iPhone and Android phone users, 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. It 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.

The 46 new MTA Police Officers will staff counterterrorism surge assignments at Grand Central and Penn Station, as well as other deployments to ensure the traveling public is protected in the MTA network. The Officers are included in the MTA's 2016 Final Proposed Budget and will have an impact of approximately $3 million. The budget is scheduled for consideration by the MTA Board in December.

All members of the MTA Police Department have been trained in techniques to counter active shooters, such as those who have been implicated in recent terrorist attacks elsewhere in the world. Rather than wait for heavily-armed Emergency Service Unit teams to arrive, officers are taught to immediately engage, pin down and neutralize any potential threat in order to minimize casualties.

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has provided information on how to prevent terrorism and spot suspicious activity here.

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