"Text Against Terror": $5.8M down the DHS rat hole in 6 months [text NJTPD (65873) for NJ TRANSIT]

Discussion in 'Security' started by Mike, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I'm pretty sure this has been mentioned somewhere in TUG but I can't find the thread ...

    You can't calculate a cost per tip for this program because division by zero doesn't work out mathematically.

    Help save a buck and maybe even the next $6M: Pick up your cell phone and text "Quit wasting taxpayer money on this crap" to NJTPD (65873). Do it now. You might save a few social security checks for your children and even for yourself.

    Judicial Watch / Corruption Chronicles: $5.8 Mil “Text Against Terror” Fails To Provide Any Tips

    The U.S. government has blown nearly $6 million on an experimental “anti-terrorism” program in New Jersey that encourages the public to send tips via text message from their cellular phones.

    Since it was launched in mid-2011, the federally-funded “Text Against Terror” project has produced no credible tips, according to a local newspaper report that reveals the feds have poured $5.8 million into the initiative. Police in New Jersey claim 307 tips have been texted so far and that includes people “testing the system.”

    Of the 307 text messages, 71 “referred to something regarding homeland security,” according to the New Jersey police chief quoted in the story. The majority of the 71 texts were investigated, the chief says, and “eliminated as a cause for concern.” In other words, the costly program, funded with a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public awareness grant, is a cash cow that’s accomplished nothing.
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    From the NJ Transit web site, this was the press release announcing this program waste:

    Customers can now report suspicious activity via text messaging
    June 8, 2011
    NEWARK, NJ — As part of the agency’s commitment to maintaining a heightened sense of vigilance across the transit system, NJ TRANSIT Police Chief Christopher Trucillo today announced a new and convenient way for customers to report suspicious activity or unattended packages: text messaging.

    Through this initiative, called “Text Tips” or “Text Against Terror,” customers will be able to report suspicious activity, packages or vehicles around NJ TRANSIT facilities or onboard the system by sending a text message to NJTPD (65873). Messages will go directly to the NJ TRANSIT Police Department.

    “As the eyes and ears of the NJ TRANSIT system, our customers and employees are the first line of defense in the war against terror, so it is critical that we all remain vigilant and aware of our surroundings,” said Chief Trucillo. “This new initiative enables us to harness the prevalence of text-messaging among our customers to enhance the security of our transit system.”

    Text Tips will complement NJ TRANSIT’s existing security hotline — 1-888-TIPS-NJT — which was established in 2003 to enable customers to call in reports of suspicious activity or unattended packages across the system. All calls are investigated, and all information is confidential. (To report a crime in progress or request immediate police or emergency assistance, customers should call 911 or the NJ TRANSIT Police Communications Center at 1-800-242-0236 or 973-378-6565.)

    When reporting a tip, customers are encouraged to provide as much information as possible, such as the location of the suspicious activity or package, the nature of the activity, and a description of the person(s) involved. After the text is received by NJ TRANSIT Police, customers may receive a follow-up text message to gather additional information.

    To make it even easier for customers to report suspicious activity while en route, NJ TRANSIT has also launched a special security page on the mobile version of njtransit.com, accessible from web-enabled mobile devices.

    The Text Tips initiative is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, along with a supporting awareness campaign that includes radio and television ads, posters, panel cards and other tactics to get the word out to customers.

    About NJ TRANSIT

    NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Give it a try. You might even help a poor New Jersey apparatchik stay awake on a dull Sunday afternoon.

    Me. Quit wasting taxpayer money on this crap.

    65873: You message has been sent to NJ TRANSIT Police. If this is an emergency, call 911. Msg&Data rates may apply. txt HELP for help, txt STOP to cancel.

    65873: Thank you, xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thank you for contacting the NJTPD. This is a dedicated line for Suspicious Activity/Criminal Tips.

    65873: Do you have a police emergency?

    Me: According to Judicial Watch, this is a dedicated line that has wasted $5,800,000 in taxpayer funds and has produced ZERO useful tips.

    65873: Thank you, xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thank you for contacting the NJTPD. This is a dedicated line for Suspicious Activity/Criminal Tips.
    jtodd and nachtnebel like this.
  4. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    I've posted critical comments on nj.com several times on this issue. Fortunately, I get lots of likes and few, if any, negative comments.

    You should hear their radio spots - they are enough to make one gag. I've even contacted WCBS NewsRadio about their running the spots. No comment from the radio station, however.
  5. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Come the revolution, their granting of free propaganda airtime will be taken into consideration at renewal time. <insert noose icon here>

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