Sheriffs Unveil New Public Safety APP to Help Combat Terrorism

Thursday, May 25, 2017

App will allow citizens to report suspicious activity at a touch of a button

(Orlando, Fla.) - Today at the National Counterterrorism Conference, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) announced the release of its updated BlackBox Digital Witness App, which includes a new anti-terrorism feature. The NSA, through its Neighborhood Watch program, is committed to making communities, across the country, safer by working with local law enforcement agencies to reduce crime and improve communities for those who live and work there.
The BlackBox Digital Witness APP- originally implemented in 2013 as a Neighborhood Watch tool to fight crime in our communities has a new feature to report suspicious activity related to terrorism. After the San Bernardino, California Shooting, NSA moved quickly to add this feature to help fight domestic terrorism. Like our current telephone crime tip lines, it is a powerful and effective app that the public can use to identify and report signs of terrorism to law enforcement. This feature was developed in coordination with The Department of Homeland Security and National Fusion Center Association and is not a substitute to calling 911 in emergencies. The APP can be downloaded on Google Play and on iTunes by searching BlackBox Digital Witness.

“America’s sheriffs understand the value of our citizens and the role they play in helping keep our communities safe," said Jonathan Thompson, Executive Director and CEO of the National Sheriffs’ Association. “Combating the current threat of domestic terrorism from homegrown extremist requires that law enforcement be trained and equipped to deal with this threat.”

Thompson continued, “It also requires we work with our citizens and provide them with new tools to help in the fight against crime and to protect their families and schools. Intelligence and communication is crucial in responses to terrorism.”

Continued terrorist attacks against our citizens have demonstrated the challenge law enforcement face in prevention of these crimes and the need for new and innovated tools.

“As the terrorism threat changes, focusing more on inspiring and directing violence through radical ideology, we must prepare our law enforcement and communities, keeping them safe, and NSA’s App has been developed for just this purpose," said Thompson.

Since 1972, the Neighborhood Watch Program (housed within the National Sheriffs' Association) has worked to unite law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens in a nation-wide effort to reduce crime and improve local communities. The success of the program has established Neighborhood Watch as the nation's premier crime prevention and community mobilization program.

For questions, contact ICE BlackBox at (703) 436-5885 or visit the ICE BlackBox support website.

Screenshot from the BlackBox Digital Witness App