"STEP UP, SPEAK UP"
Witness Cooperation Campaign
Launched in Philadelphia
Hosko, Assistant Special Agent in
Charge of the FBI office in Philadelphia,
speaks at the press conference announcing
the campaign, flanked by Philadelphia
Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson
(left) and John Appledorn, President
of the Philadelphia citizen's Crime
what would happen if citizens grew too afraid
or intimidated to report crime to law enforcement
and to testify at criminal trials.
tell you what would happen: many dangerous
criminals would never be caught or prosecuted...community
crime rates would increase...and the integrity
of our nation's criminal justice system
would be undermined.
the intimidation of witnesses has been a
growing problem in some cities around the
nation, including Philadelphia, where T-shirts
with the slogans "Stop Snitching"
and "Don't Talk 2 Police" have
become popular around the city and have
even been worn in court.
the FBI office in Philadelphia decided to
take action. On 1/30, it joined with
public and private organizations in launching
an educational campaign to encourage crime
witnesses to come forward with information.
campaign—called Step Up, Speak Up,
"Take the Big Step"—includes:
that lists phone numbers and websites that
area citizens can use to report crime (often
anonymously) and to get witness assistance;
service announcements to encourage citizens
to step forward with information and billboards
that will show victims of local unsolved
Step Up, Speak Up T-shirts for the youth
of Philadelphia; and
enforcement officials who can speak at town
halls and other public meetings about the
important role witnesses play in reducing
Attorney Patrick Meehan of the Eastern District
of Philadelphia also said the U.S. Department
of Justice will fund relocation services for
non-federal witnesses in the city to help
partners in this campaign include: The
Philadelphia Police Department, the U.S. Attorney's
Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,
the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office,
and the Philadelphia office of the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives,
as well as faith-based and civic organizations
like Mothers in Charge, the School District
of Philadelphia, and the Citizen's Crime Commission
and businesses like Clear Channel Outdoors
and the Philadelphia Daily News, which
is publishing the resource guide as a free
supplement in its newspapers.
hope to expand the program, which was created
by our Community Outreach Unit in Philadelphia,
to other cities around the nation.
words. We can't say it strongly enough:
whether you live in Philadelphia or elsewhere
in the U.S., the FBI and its partners count
on your help in stepping forward to report
crime and to serve as witnesses in court.
You can and do make a difference.