Program Introduces #1776 Wireless Calling Code for Suspicious Activity Reporting
Philadelphia, January 7, 2014 – City of Philadelphia officials joined Greater Philadelphia area transit agency representatives to announce a new public service campaign designed to educate transit riders about their role in keeping the region’s transit systems secure.
Funded through a series of grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Transit Security Grant Program, the Regional Security Awareness Campaign (or the “Look Up, Speak Up” campaign), will encourage transit riders to alert authorities if they observe something suspicious or out of the ordinary on and around stations, trains and vehicles and property by calling #1776 from their mobile devices, or emailing a tip from the related mobile website. The campaign will emphasize that citizens need to serve as the ‘eyes and ears’ of public safety agencies.
“The customers who ride our City and region’s transit systems know their stations, trains, buses and routes intimately, and we are asking them to participate in transit security by looking up and speaking up if something seems out of the ordinary,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “All of us will enjoy a safer, more secure transit system if the more than 160,000 people who ride SEPTA and PATCO each day commit to looking out for one another.”
The DHS funded grants, totaling more than $5.3 million, were awarded to the Philadelphia Area Regional Transit Security Working Group (PARTSWG). The Working Group is composed of four rail/transit systems: the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the Delaware River Port Authority (DPRA/PATCO), New Jersey Transit and the Delaware Transit Corporation (DART). DPRA serves as the program coordinator for the Working Group. Combined, these transit systems serve nearly 4.4 million commuters, residents and tourists every year.
The “Look Up, Speak Up” message of the campaign will be conveyed to transit riders and commuters through broadcast, print, online and out-of-home advertising. Transit riders will be directed to www.LookUpSpeakUp.com, the campaign website, and social media pages www.Facebook.com/LookUpSpeakUp and www.Twitter.com/LookUpSpeakUp to learn more.
In the coming months, the campaign will introduce an ‘app’ that, when downloaded to a smart device, will launch the related mobile website where transit riders can initiate a call or send an email tip with or without a photo.
Calls and emails will be directed to the transit desk at the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center (DVIC), a 24-hour all-hazards, all-crime, information and intelligence collection facility staffed by member public safety agencies from throughout the Delaware Valley. The campaign also will remind transit riders to call 911 in the event of an emergency, including any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or an ambulance.
Recognizing that a vigilant public is the greatest deterrent to acts of terrorism and violence and in raising awareness of dangerous conditions in general, the campaign’s message encourages people who use the region’s transit systems to be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity and situations.
“#1776 is another way for transit employees, passengers and the general public to do their part in keeping our regional transit system safe and secure,” said Mayor Nutter.
Through the implementation of the Regional Security Awareness Campaign, the Working Group seeks to improve regional transit security, identify and resolve security-related issues, and provide for enhanced communication and coordination with the region’s security agencies.