In an effort to expand security measures across the state, the “See Something, Send Something” app will now allow New Yorkers to report suspicious activity with their phones, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last month.
The app was created by My Mobile Witness, a company that partners with law enforcement agencies to connect the agencies with citizens in order to create a more secure environment. This is not My Mobile Witness’s first venture into apps that allow users to report suspicious activities. They released “Safer Ohio,” an app that allowed Ohio residents to report suspicious activities to Ohio Homeland Security, on April 4, 2014.
The app has been adopted by Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia since its debut on the Google Play Store on Jan. 14, 2015. New York is the sixth state to use the app.
“The company that developed the app launched it in 2013, and a year later we began the process to consider and launch the app here in New York State,” Beau Duffy, director of public information for the New York State Police, said in an email.
“Reports from the app will come into the New York State Intelligence Center, where tips will be reviewed and if found relevant, will be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency,” Duffy said.
The app allows users to either send a picture of suspicious activity or a note. But while the app is promoted for everyone’s use, it is not available to some.
“The app does not currently work on the Windows phone platform,” Duffy said in an email.
For those without Android phones or iPhones, a terrorism tip hotline (1-866-SAFENYS) is in place, along with an email ([email protected]). Albeit effective tools, the app, hotline and email do not replace 911 in an emergency situation.
“See Something, Send Something” is one of many measures the state government has taken to combat terrorism in New York.
“In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, State Police increased deployment of Troopers to large public gatherings, and increased surveillance of critical infrastructure, including major transportation hubs,” Duffy said.
Cuomo announced in a Nov. 23 news release that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hire 46 additional police officers to heighten security in Grand Central Station, Penn Station and along the Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Railroad and Staten Island Railroad systems.
MTA police officers will also be trained how to properly combat active shooters. MTA employees have also been taught how to protect their customers in case of a shooting.
Surveillance of “critical infrastructure including transportation hubs” has been increased according to a Nov. 14 news release. Large public gatherings are being monitored with increased scrutiny.
The MTA has also increased the overall numbers of both uniformed and plainclothes officers in Grand Central Station, Penn Station and throughout the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Railroad systems. Representatives from the MTA did not return emails or calls requesting comment before publication.
Featured image credit: New York State