HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - While emphasizing there is no imminent threat, Police Chief Michael McMahon sent a letter to members of the Hillsborough business community Wednesday that urges merchants and building owners to be vigilant and prepare for the worst, as businesses across the country fall victim to looters during protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis May 25.
The letter cites rumors that have been spread on social media that suggest suburban communities in New Jersey may be targeted.
Dozens of protests have been held in New Jersey since Floyd's death, with the majority of the demonstrations peaceful.
Two demonstrations are planned in Somerville this weekend. Hundreds of protestors attended a rally in Franklin Township last weekend that was peaceful.
The text of McMahon's letter follows:
Hillsborough Business Community,
In light of the recent events occurring across the nation regarding the widespread looting and vandalism, the Hillsborough Township Police Department wants to remind local businesses within Hillsborough Township to take all precautions that they feel may be necessary to protect their property and businesses.
This may include not leaving large amounts of cash in the register or safe and securing items on display outside of the business that may have been left out overnight in the past.
This includes businesses that may be considered "high risk" such as a pharmacy, due to the large amounts of narcotics that may be on hand at any given time.
Although the Hillsborough Township Police Department has not received any credible evidence that local businesses within Hillsborough Township may be targeted, there have been widespread rumors on social media sites and the internet that businesses in more suburban areas of New Jersey may be targeted in the future.
We have taken a proactive stance on these rumors and want to make our business owners aware of this information so that necessary precautions can taken of you choose to.
The Hillsborough Township Police Department wants you to know that we are here for you. We remain vigilant on checking our local businesses throughout the day and night and should you have any concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.
For a safer Hillsborough,
Chief Michael McMahon