Standing under a giant red backpack with a tag reading “It’s never this obvious” yesterday at South Station, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano helped relaunch the MBTA’s “If?You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign.
“We’re renewing it, we’re refreshing it because we want people to not be alarmed but alert to their surroundings,” said Napolitano, whose department funds the program with a $1 million grant. “It was already here in Boston. Now it’s here in a bigger way.”
In addition to South Station’s giant backpack encouraging riders to report suspicious behavior and packages, an oversize mail tube will be placed at Back Bay Station and a giant box at North Station. The T also unveiled a YouTube video and new posters.
The MBTA launched the campaign in 2003 and officials said the relaunch isn’t in response to a specific threat.
“It can become stale, customers and others can begin to see past it if they continue to hear the same announcements on a day-to-day basis,” MBTA GM Rich Davey said. “This was a way to refresh it. An opportunity to get folks to pay attention.”
Boston Police Chief Ed Davis said other countries report more unattended packages.
“We’re not that good here,” he said. “We still feel somewhat insulated despite what happened on 9/11.”