According to a survey released earlier this week, 56 percent of Americans said they hadn’t heard of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. In light of the incident at the Boston Marathon and the data from the report, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), the Indiana State Police (ISP) and the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Safety are doing all that they can to bring forth this message, including calling on the media to help spread the word.
The encouraging side of the survey is that 57 percent of respondents indicated that they were willing to meet with homeland security or local police to talk about reporting suspicious activity.
“Citizen awareness is one of the best partners we have against manmade crises,” said IDHS Executive Director John Hill. “We need the average person to know that their input is critical to preventing violent situations. Do not feel embarrassed for reporting anything out of the ordinary.”
To report suspicious activity, contact on-site security, local law enforcement’s non-emergency line or the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center at 1-877-226-1026. If violence is imminent, call 9-1-1.
When reporting suspicious behavior, it is important to take note of several key details. When and where you witnessed the behavior and any description of individuals involved such as gender, age, physical description and unique characteristics. Also take note of any vehicles involved, make and model of the vehicle, and its direction of travel.
Examples of suspicious activity include monitoring personnel, testing security, unusual or prolonged interest in security measures, or purposely placing objects in sensitive areas to observe response. For example, a person taking photos at a high profile event is not unusual in itself, but if that person is only taking photos of security cameras or personnel, that activity would be suspicious.
For more information on the See Something, Say Something campaign visit http://www.dhs.gov/if-you-see-something-say-something-campaign or getprepared.in.gov.
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