NJ implements ‘See Something, Say Something’ roadway campaign, spiking resident terrorism fears

New Jersey residents have had their terrorism fears rekindled after the state implemented roadway signs admonishing drivers to report suspected terrorism in a “See Something, Say Something” campaign.

The signs read, “Suspect Terrorism? See Something, Say Something,” and they provide a tip line number to report threats in a throwback to 9/11.

These signs are part of a public safety campaign launched last month by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) in partnership with the state Department of Transportation and New Jersey Turnpike Authority. But their sudden appearance on major highways, with little notice or fanfare, has alarmed state residents,” Fox News reported.

“This makes me think that there’s an underlying thing going on that’s not public yet,” Laura Brunetti, a New Jersey resident, posited in an interview with local station News12.

Others thought the signs were connected to the anniversary of Sept. 11.

“An August 30 news release announced the installation of Variable Message Signs around the state ‘to remind drivers along the state’s major interstates to remain vigilant and report potential threats and suspicious activity related to terrorism or other criminal activity,'” Fox News noted.

The goal of the campaign over the next few months is to remind residents and visitors, who may be traversing New Jersey’s highways for vacation, holiday shopping, and other festivities, of the importance of being aware of their surroundings and of reporting suspicious activity,” NJOHSP Director Laurie Doran stated, according to Fox News.

“The public is one of our first and best lines of defense in the fight against terrorism. Our ‘See Something, Say Something’ initiative bolsters the State’s security efforts and plays a key role in helping to identify threats and to prevent attacks,” she ominously contended.

The roadway campaign will be in effect from September through mid-February. It includes roughly 200 signs that promote NJOHSP’s suspicious activity reporting number across the New Jersey Turnpike and interstate highways, according to the news release announcing the initiative.

Those driving in the morning and afternoon rush hours are the ones being targeted by the signs that are being displayed seven days a week.

“Safety and security are everyone’s responsibility,” NJDOT Commissioner and NJ Turnpike Authority Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti declared, according to Fox News.

“Using Variable Message Signs on the New Jersey Turnpike and our Interstate Highways will help remind millions of motorists if they ‘See Something, Say Something’ when driving through our State,” he asserted.

No one seems to be saying exactly why these signs were deemed necessary currently. There is no terrorist threat level that is active at present.

New Jersey officials are claiming the campaign coincides with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s national “If You See Something, Say Something” Awareness Day, which is observed on Sept. 25. That does not explain why the state’s campaign is running through mid-February.

“We are happy to support this important public information campaign by displaying the ‘See Something, Say Something’ message on the digital Variable Message Signs over the New Jersey Turnpike,” NJTA Executive Director James Carone announced, Fox News reported.

“The nearly 700,000 drivers who use the Turnpike on an average day have an important role to play in protecting public safety. These signs encourage them to speak up if they see suspicious activity,” he said.

The Observer also reported, “On Sept. 6, the aforementioned ‘announced’ (not well, we might add) the launch of its ‘See Something, Say Something’ public safety campaign in addition to variable message signs around the state to remind drivers along the state’s major interstates to remain vigilant and report potential threats and suspicious activity related to terrorism or other criminal activity.”

“Only thing is, no one seemed to know about the program until we did a little digging. In fact, we spoke with several high-ranking law-enforcement officials who told us they had no idea why the signs had been popping up. And, very few media outlets in North Jersey have reported them,” the outlet pointed out.

The New Jersey media outlet also had some other interesting details to share.

“While law enforcement officials tell The Observer there is no immediate threat of terrorism in the northern part of the state, a phone call to the Counterterrorism Watch Desk was itself, revealing. The person who answered the call was likely a trained law-enforcement officer since the state website says the hotline is monitored 24-7-265 by such professionals,” The Observer continued.

“The call-taker said there is a concern people in the state have forgotten too much about what happened 22 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001, and the corresponding need for residents to vigilantly report any suspected or potential terroristic activity,” the news outlet added.

“It’s to ensure our residents haven’t become too complacent, especially with the anniversary of Sept. 11, just the other day,” the call-taker told the media outlet. “We just want people to be aware and (if) they see something, say something, especially to suspicious terrorist-related activity, along those lines.”

“The call-taker also said every law enforcement agency in New Jersey was supposed to be informed of the program and high-ranking cops were supposed to trickle that information down to rank-and-file officers. But there is no way to confirm whether that did, in fact, occur,” The Observer concluded.

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