STATEMENT OF BARBARA COMSTOCK, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS,

STATEMENT OF BARBARA COMSTOCK, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS,

“First and foremost, Operation TIPS is a program under development, and its

blueprint is not yet finalized. The Operation TIPS reporting system was

announced in concept six months ago, and we look forward to its rollout in the

late summer or early fall.

“Operation TIPS is simply a reporting system – not a membership organization

or recruiting activity – based upon successful existing non-governmental

programs like Highway Watch, River Watch and Coast Watch, which enable

American workers to report unusual and non-emergency issues that they observe

in the normal course of their work. Several of these industries have requested

a uniform method of reporting such matters to public authorities.

“The industries that will be involved in Operation TIPS represent workers who

have regular routines that take them down roads, rivers, coastlines, and

public transit routes, and through neighborhoods and communities. Their jobs

make them uniquely well positioned to understand the ordinary course of

business in the area they serve, and to identify things that are out of the

ordinary. Many of these industries already have taken steps to offer their

employees a voluntary way to report this type of information, but they are

looking to the Department of Justice to offer a comprehensive, reliable and

cost-effective voluntary reporting system. Operation TIPS is that voluntary

reporting system through which information can be maintained and analyzed in a

single database, and will be referred to local, state and federal law

enforcement agencies for appropriate follow-up.

“None of the Operation TIPS materials published on the web or elsewhere have

made reference to entry or access to the homes of individuals; nor has it ever

been the intention of the Department of Justice, or any other agency, to set

up such a program. Our interest in establishing the Operation TIPS program is

to allow American workers to share information they receive in the regular

course of their jobs in public places and areas. Once they report the

information, they can rest assured that law enforcement officials will be

taking any appropriate next steps.”