The Metropolitan Transit Authority is updating its “If you see something, say something,” public-safety campaign launched after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The new campaign was announced Monday in Grand Central Terminal and will feature photos and videos of 56 MTA customers who saw something and said something to MTA staff or police. The ads are accompanied by a fresh slogan too: “New Yorkers Keep New York Safe.”
In short videos, which will run online and via Facebook, commuters share their experiences reporting suspicious packages or activity. Portraits of the transit riders with the tagline: “Looking out for NYC” will also appear in MTA stations, trains and buses.
“This is the most significant change to our public safety messaging since we first launched the ‘If you see something, say something’ campaign in the aftermath of 9/11,” MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said in a news release. “Our goals with the new campaign are to show our customers how easy it is to report a suspicious package or activity, and remind them that they have a crucial role to play in keeping New York safe.”
Gregg Turkin, 56, of Valley Stream, appears in one of the video ads. While on the Long Island Rail Road’s Far Rockaway branch one morning, he says he became concerned after seeing “a number of vehicles parked inside a fenced-in area, very close to the tracks” and called the MTA hotline.
“It’s the easiest thing in the world to see something and say something,” Turkin says in the ad. “It’s part of what we owe each other as New Yorkers. We have to keep each other safe.”
Chris Batten, an account director at the Arcade Creative Group who helped produce the ads, said they wanted to revitalize the old campaign — which often featured unattended backpacks or boxes — with a “human face.”
“We’re now 15 years removed from the threat that first inspired the original campaign, and we felt that it needed to be humanized to make it more personal for all of us New Yorkers,” Batten said. “I hope it also shows transit riders that people just like themselves do report suspicious activity to the MTA.”
The campaign cost $2 million and was funded with grants from the Department of Homeland Security, an MTA spokesman said.