WALLKILL—As part of the state’s initiative to raise public awareness on being safe in a terrorist attack, two Orange County deputy sheriffs strolled through the Galleria Mall in Wallkill on Dec. 10 handing out flyers. The state police issued a bulletin that Counter Terrorism Action Teams (CTAT) would visit shopping areas and train stations throughout the area.
Deputies Weibolt and Ferrantelli discussed terrorist related indicators with shoppers and distributed “See Something Say Something” flyers. Specialized law enforcement officers conducted commercial vehicle checks. The effort involves 60 law enforcement personnel from 20 agencies.
The state police Office of Counter Terrorism was set up “to detect, deter, and prevent future terrorist attacks in partnership with residents, the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and local law enforcement,” according to its website.
OCT also responds to other threats but is not a law enforcement agency itself. The agency works with state police and local law enforcement. The state police recently announced an app See Something, Send Something to be used on a smartphone that will inform authorities if something looks suspicious.
The visits were described as proactive and not in response to any threats. The activity is meant to educate the public about the importance of being aware of their surroundings and reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
The New York State Police and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services also recently announced the availability of the “See Something, Send Something” mobile phone app, which allows users to instantly report suspicious activity to law enforcement. More information on the app can be found here.
Woodbury Commons was also visited by law enforcement and train stations along the Metro North line up to Tuxedo.
If residents observe suspicious activity, they are asked to record and alert local authorities and encouraged to give accurate, fast, and complete reports. The report should cover the five Ws: who, what, where, when, why. When describing a suspicious person, try to use as many physical and behavioral descriptors as possible and if there is a vehicle, give plate, year, make, model, size, and color.
To contact this reporter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.