If You See Something, Say Something.
Report Suspicious Activity to Local Law Enforcement or Call 911.
In July 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a national "If You See Something, Say Something™" public awareness campaign –a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of potential crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities.
What might not seem significant at the time (for instance, someone taking pictures of a school), when combined with other actions and activity, may become a composite indicating the possibility of criminal activity. Therefore, in today’s world, “connecting the dots” of suspicious activity before an incident occurs has become an integral and imperative job for law enforcement, from the officer on the street to the national level.
How Do I Put ‘Prevention’ To Work?
Prevention is not as difficult as you might think. For example:
- If you saw children playing with matches, you would take the matches away and perhaps discuss with the children the potential danger such behavior presents.
- If you saw a roller skate on a stairway you would remove it because it was potentially dangerous to anyone using the stairway.
- If you were spending all day in the hot Texas sun chances are you would apply sunscreen.
Other ‘prevention’ techniques include reporting suspicious behavior and situations such as an unattended backpack in a public place or someone trying to break into a restricted area they shouldn’t be in.
Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious. Beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations or speech unrelated to criminal activity or terrorism by themselves are likewise not to be confused as reportable activity.
The bottom line is that good common sense should prevail. If you see something that just doesn’t see right for the current time and place, then the best course of action might be to say something to someone who can help determine if your suspicions are right.