ISRI’s Empire and New York chapters are proudly partnering with the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police (NYSACOP) to combat metals theft. ISRI will offer information on members’ efforts to address metals theft to NYSACOP members at the NYSACOP annual training conference July 25-28 in Glens Falls, N.Y.

In a statement to Scrap News, Lenny Formato, New York Chapter President, and Dave Bestwick, Empire Chapter President, said, “The NYSACOP enthusiastically responded to our outreach and graciously invited us to participate at their upcoming board meeting and conference. By partnering with the NYSACOP, we have been able to efficiently communicate with chiefs of police throughout the vast state of New York—from New York City to Buffalo. Not only has this enabled ISRI to provide law enforcement with tools such as ScrapTheftAlert, going forward we have established readily accessible and effective means of sharing information with law enforcement on any number of topics of mutual interest and concern.”

Formato and Bestwick say their members strictly adhere to state law requiring that metal buyers copy the sellers’ drivers’ licenses or other government-issued photo identification. “Virtually all of our members digitally maintain recorded video taken from the scale and at the pay window, which we always make available to law enforcement to assist in their scrap theft investigations,” they add. Working with their Albany, N.Y.-based government relations counsel, Lawrence Schillinger, ISRI’s Empire and New York chapters are proposing legislation to make video recording mandatory for all metals processing facilities.

In its release to NYSACOP members announcing the partnership with ISRI (whose Empire and New York chapters are Silver Sponsors of NYSACOP), the police chiefs association noted, “ISRI member companies in New York State are reaching out to law enforcement agencies statewide to increase awareness of this issue and to introduce the resources of the ISRI Scrap Theft Alert System.” NYSACOP supports more than 500 chiefs of police to achieve professional recognition, uniformity of operation, and advance the general welfare of the police profession by educating its members.

“This joint initiative of the Empire and New York Chapters to partner with the NYSACOP hopefully provides a positive example for other ISRI Chapters,” Bestwick and Formato say. “As an industry, we are stronger and more effective when we collaborate through ISRI to advance policies of mutual benefit to all ISRI member companies.”

Brady Mills, ISRI’s director of law enforcement outreach, praises the New York state chapters for their outreach efforts. “This is terrific: The chapters got involved with the New York [police] chiefs to show their commitment to this issue,” he says. “ISRI members all over North America are eager to educate law enforcement about scrap metal theft, and work with them to combat it.” Mills will speak to the NYSACOP directors at their event.

ScrapTheftAlert.com is a free, online tool for law enforcement that connects local police agencies with the scrap industry. Scrap Theft alerts can be posted to all subscribed users within a default 100-mile radius of where the incident occurred. This radius can be expanded when warranted, Mills adds.

Since its launch in 2008, over 21,500 alerts have been issued by more than 29,600 active users. The system has helped recover more than $3 million in stolen property. ScrapTheftAlert.com is available to police on the FBI’s Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP) and the congressionally funded, locally managed Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS). Registered LEEP and RISS users in law enforcement, intelligence groups, and criminal justice have direct access to the alert system.

For more information on outreach to law enforcement and ISRI tools to combat metals theft, contact your regional chapter leadership or Mills at (202) 662-8526 or email.

Photo courtesy of Storyblocks.

Dan Hockensmith

Dan Hockensmith

I'm a native Ohioan who since 2014 has called Maryland home. My background includes print, broadcast, and digital journalism; government contracting; marketing communications; and nonprofit advocacy.