Be counted, but be cautious

By Splendora Police Chief Alex Hadrych

With the upcoming 2010 Census only a few months away, and growing concerns over the security of private information, the Splendora Police Department offers the following information to keep you informed and secure in reference to your personal identifying information.

1. All information you receive from the U.S. Census Bureau will be clearly marked as originating form the Census Bureau as OFFICIAL BUSINESS of the United States.
2. You will receive a letter from the Census Bureau Director advising you that in a few days you will be receiving either a phone call, correspondence via U.S. Mail or a personal visit from a Census Bureau representative.
3. It should be noted that it is a federal offense for anyone to pretend that they are an employee of the Census Bureau or any other office of the federal government.

You have the right to identify the census taker.

1. All census takers will be carrying official government identification marked with just their name. You may also ask the census taker to produce another form of picture identification to confirm their identity.
2. You may also see some census takers carrying a “U.S. Census Bureau” bag.
3. Census takers will NEVER ask to gain access to the inside of your residence under any circumstance.

Securing your information

1. You will not be asked to submit your information online. Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of your information. By law the following information cannot be published: names, addresses, (including GPS coordinates), social security numbers and telephone numbers.
2. Should you receive the Census packet via U.S. Mail, fill it out and mail it back immediately. Do not allow it to lay around for days or weeks. Remember, it is your information.
3. All census employees take an oath of non-disclosure and are sworn for life to protect your information.
4. It should also be known that your census information cannot be shared with any other government or local agency.

If you find yourself in contact with an individual who you feel is falsely identifying their self as a census taker, we strongly urge you to contact law enforcement immediately.

To learn more about the upcoming census, visit the official government website at www.census.gov

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