Terrorism Prevention Awareness Tips for Business Owners

Mayor Mark A. Smith announced that the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness has issued terrorism prevention awareness tips for New Jersey businesses. Mayor Smith said, “Owners, managers and employees of shopping centers and retail outlets should be aware of suspicious activities. They also need to know what actions to take in case of emergencies at their businesses. I urge everyone in the Bayonne business community to learn from the tips provided.”
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness advises the retail industry to be aware of the following activities and situations: 1) individuals wearing clothing inappropriate for the season or current weather conditions; 2) individuals attempting to gain access to secure, non-public areas within the facility; 3) unusual inquiries made to personnel/employees regarding security measures employed at the location; 4) individuals acting nervously, or providing vague responses when questioned regarding their activities; 5) attempts to gain sensitive information regarding security cameras and/or other information critical to the operational security of the facility; 6) individuals staying in one area for an extended period of time, taking photographs, or attempting to gain knowledge on the activities of security personnel or security measures; 7) unattended packages left near crowded public areas; 8) unusual statements/off-handed comments made by individuals that suggest that an individual or organization may be planning a criminal act; 9) theft, or attempted theft, of official uniforms, identification cards, access cards, or other facility patches or logos.
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness also offers advice about actions to take during emergency situations. If you are experiencing an emergency or a crime in progress, please call 9-1-1. If you or your business were the victim of a crime, contact the police department.
By learning what to look for, you can make a positive contribution to the fight against terrorism. The partnership between the community and law enforcement is essential to the success of anti-terrorism efforts. Members of the retail industry can support this partnership by doing the following: 1) Watch for people and actions that seem out of place. 2) Make note of any suspicious inquiries regarding security in and around your facility. 3) Watch for individuals distributing extremist documents in the vicinity of your facility.
The state agency advises business people that that impressions and assessment are “extremely valuable and should help in determining if a customer request, a fact pattern, or set of circumstances is unusual.” The advisory continues, “In addition to reporting suspicious activity to your local police department, you are encouraged to contact the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness Tip Line. This will enhance statewide awareness and can potentially aid in the prevention of future terrorist acts through early identification and intervention.”
The advisory adds the following caution: “It is important to remember that just because someone’s speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different, it does not mean that he or she is suspicious. Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate.”