Tattletale America: Truck Drivers, Janitors, Exterminators etc. Training to Be Citizen Spies
Infowars.com | August 15, 2005
All across America, people who have jobs working with the public are being trained to spy on the businesses and people that they serve. Imagine, you pay the cable man or the exterminator hundreds of dollars for their services, and while they’re in your house they are spying on you – in many cases getting a percentage of anything seized from you.
The police have to get a warrant to come in to your home or business, but you invite service people, like the proverbial vampire, into your home. This is totally criminal. Private companies should be held liable. The lawsuits need to start and they need to start now.
This has been going on for years, but now it’s being expanded and institutionalized just as the definition of “terrorism” is being expanded to mean all crimes and the suspicions of crimes, including misdemeanors. So now Homeland Security is fighting terrorism by going after gangs and visiting toy stores, and the Washinton Post is openly talking about martial law “for our safety.” Welcome to Police State America.
Janitors Trained To Wipe Out Terrorism
NBC 17 | August 10, 2005
RALEIGH, N.C. -- They may be armed with only mops and Lysol, but janitors have become America's latest recruits in the war on terror.
About 500,000 janitors nationwide are being trained to spot possible signs of terror in the buildings they clean and maintain, including potential targets like schools, power plants, television stations, government buildings and malls.
Jani-King International Inc., the nation's largest commercial cleaning franchiser, is adding its work force of cleaning crews to America's homeland security team.
"We've all been through 9/11," said Andy Bermudez, a franchisee who formerly worked in the Department of Homeland Security and now trains janitors to spot potential terrorist and criminal threats, recognize unusual activity and report the activity to proper authorities.
Bermudez taught a 90-minute course Wednesday to local Jani-King employees, who clean about 900 buildings in the Raleigh-Durham area.
"There are a number of things they never thought of that they're more aware of now," said Mike Kearns, who owns Jani-King franchises in the Carolinas and Florida.
Bermudez said janitors who have undergone training have already stopped potential terror attacks. One man in Las Vegas, for example, spotted a bomb and got the building evacuated so the explosive device could be safely removed, he said.
Florida Citizens to Help Catch Terrorists
FOX News | July 15, 2004
MIAMI — Law enforcement officials in central Florida are planning to train cable repairmen, exterminators and apartment managers to report signs of terrorism inside their clients’ homes.
Supporters of the program say making private citizens the eyes and ears of the police will save lives.
But opponents, like the ACLU (search), call the plan “un-American” and say it’s a violation of privacy.
Operation TIPS (search), a similar program proposed by President Bush, was withdrawn in 2002 after critics said it would lead to racial profiling.
So far, 5,000 brochures detailing the Florida plan have been printed, and volunteers will be trained what to look for.
But Orange County officials stress that people who go through the training will be encouraged to only report what they see — not search for evidence
Truckers, Toll Takers, Bus Drivers Recruited For Homeland Security
Bucks County Courier Times | September 30 2004
Truckers, toll takers, road crews and bus drivers are being recruited for homeland security.
They'll be trained as part of Highway Watch to keep their eyes open for anything from missing trailer loads to suspicious activity to people taking photos of strategic points of infrastructure.
The goal in Pennsylvania is to have 14,000 highway professionals watching for suspicious activity starting in the spring, according to the Transportation Security Administration, American Trucking Association and Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association.
Word of the program, though, hasn't reached many area folks who work the roads. But area Teamsters union leaders love the idea.
Teamsters used to be the "knights of the road,'' so it makes sense they would be involved in the program, Local 830 Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Grace said from his Northeast Philadelphia office.
"I think it is something we could pass along to a lot of drivers," Teamsters Local 107 Vice President Tony Fransco said at his union headquarters across the street from Local 830.
"Drivers are out there on the roads and highways. It's something that makes sense 'cause they are driving down the road and their eyes are on the road and their surroundings,'' he said.
While Pennsylvania truckers aren't yet in the loop, some of their comrades in New Jersey are. So is the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.
Commission spokeswoman Linda Spalinski said one staff member already is certified as a trainer for the program and a second is going through the seminars. Spalinski said the commission hopes to have all of its toll collectors and maintenance personnel trained in the Highway Watch program.
Jim Daulerio, who lives in Bristol Township and is trucking safety manager at Jevic Transportation in New Jersey, said his company is involved in Highway Watch through the New Jersey Motor Truck Association. He compared the program to a town watch.
"It's like when they're out there patrolling the streets [with town watch]," Daulerio said. "Well, [drivers] are out on the highway doing the same thing.
"With 3 million drivers out there and two eyes each, that's 6 million eyes out there watching what's going on,'' he said.
SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney said he's heard about the program, but the public transit company hasn't been invited to join in. SEPTA, he said, already has safety programs in place.
"Never before have our employees been as aware as they are [since Sept. 11, 2001]," Maloney said. "It's not even something we have to remind them of; it's a cultural change.
"We are continually on the alert, continually training, continually learning new tactics and continually in communication with our employees and our customers,'' he added.
Highway Watch began in 1998 as a safety program but turned to national security after Sept. 11, 2001.
The TSA and ATA have joined forces to make it work. The TSA will fund the program with $19.3 million, and the ATA will take over administering it. Trucking associations in all 50 states will handle the training, according to Robert Palmer, national spokesman for Highway Watch.
Janine Valle, vice president for the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, said training in the state, which has more than 400,000 professional truck drivers, is progressing at a satisfactory rate and is expanding into the southeastern part. The plan is to certify trainers, who will then train drivers, toll collectors, highway maintenance personnel and others.
The training, according to Valle, focuses on recognizing potential problems.
"We want [transportation professionals] to become the eyes and ears [of homeland security] out on the highways," she said. "We want them to know how to respond if they become a target of terrorism or how to communicate if they see something."
They'll learn how to share valuable intelligence with federal agencies and industry stakeholders so they can quickly move to stop any terrorist action. Once trained, each driver receives a specific identification number and is given a toll-free hot line number to use to report suspicious activity or safety concerns.
An operator at the Highway Watch Call Center then routes the call to the appropriate law enforcement authorities in that area.
Valle stressed that the program does not profile individuals but situations.
"If a truck driver sees another driver slow down at the beginning of a bridge, stop and put down a package and then take off, that's something suspicious we want them to report," she said.