Pa. Homeland Security head says attacks are reminder to be vigilant

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Sep 19, 2016 3:20 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Mel Evans

An FBI agent carries a box of material from an apartment to a car during an investigation at a building in Elizabeth, N.J. early Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. The Elizabeth apartment is tied to a man wanted for questioning in the New York City bombing.

(Harrisburg) -- The head of Pennsylvania's Homeland Security Department is using the bombing attacks in New York and New Jersey to remind people to be vigilant.

Director Marcus Brown says the multiple attacks were one of the top priorities in a staff meeting this morning.

"When these type of incidents occur, I am briefing up the chain of command. We had a staff meeting this morning, where obviously this was one of the top priorities of the discussion," says Brown.

He says they're working to keep other law enforcement agencies across the state informed of any further developments.

But Brown also has a message for the public.

"Law enforcement doesn't have enough eyes and ears out there. It's the citizen that is familiar with the area, is familiar with objects in that area, what to expect in that area. They're going to be the first ones to recognize that something's out of place or there's something that shouldn't be where it is," says Brown.

Brown says people should call 911 to report anything suspicious.

He says having police investigate every report is a step towards keeping communities safe - noting it's preferable to having someone deciding to not to bother contacting law enforcement for one reason or another. 

He says staff is on standby to help out in New York and New Jersey if needed.

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