HOPE, Ark., — Bogus money is being passed around town and the sheriff wants to quickly put an end to it.
The introduction of counterfeit currency into the local economy of Hope, Ark., is on the rise, according to Hope Police Chief J.R. Wilson.
“While certainly the types of incidents reported to Hope Police Department that involve counterfeit currency do not pose a serious threat to our local economy, nonetheless, over the past two months, the Hope Police Department has seen a significant rise in the cases reported.”
Over a 41-day period, the police dept. seized 16 counterfeit bills related to 14 separate incidents. This volume of activity in such a short period of time is unusual for such a small town, the sheriff said.
In 2013, the Hope Police Department worked 40 cases related to forgery, of which 12 cases concerned the counterfeit of U.S. Currency. In 2012, the department worked 58 cases related to forgery of which 28 cases concerned the counterfeit of U.S. Currency.
“There has been a significant statistical increase of incidents documenting the seizure of counterfeit currency within our jurisdiction since June 13, 2014,” Chief Wilson said.
“The data is suggestive of possible local production.”
The police department submits all counterfeit currency to the U.S. Secret Service along with a copy of incident reports. Hope Police works in cooperation with Federal, State and other local authorities to resolve issues pertaining to counterfeiting, Chief Wilson added.
Concerning the importance of citizen recognition and information related to criminal activity, Chief Wilson said citizens play a vital role in the creation of safe neighborhoods and cities by refusing to tolerate criminal activity and providing specific credible information to detect and resolve crime.
“With respect to the counterfeit of U.S. Currency, I would encourage our citizens to notify police immediately if you suspect any activity associated with the fraudulent reproduction of Federal Reserve Notes or other commercial paper; to become familiar with our currency and how to detect fraudulent representations; to be prepared to provide specific and detailed information pertaining to circumstances surrounding perceived criminal activity; and to visit the Secret Service and other websites to learn about the security features related to US Currency,” he said.
“Of particular importance over the last decade has been the introduction of enhanced security features such as the watermark and the embedded security thread in some Federal Reserve Notes,” Chief Wilson added.
“Safe neighborhoods, towns and cities are directly related to citizen involvement. Stand up and speak out,” he said. “Only together can we ensure a great city for ourselves, our children, and our neighbors.”