As much as we encourage the training aspects of being prepared during an active shooter situation or any violent act of terrorism, being aware of any suspicious activity about to happen and taking actions to prevent it from going further is equally as important. Being prepared for any unexpected attack is a step in the right direction but, prevention of any violent act from happenings is the optimal result. We do train in situational awareness. It’s important to be observant and aware of your surroundings while in any public setting. Reporting suspicious activity is the responsibility of any everyday civilian or trained professional, don’t let unusual acts go unnoticed.
“The “If You See Something, Say Something®” campaign respects citizens’ privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties by emphasizing behavior, rather than appearance, in identifying suspicious activity.” This was started by Homeland Security to help create awareness and support.
“Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.
- Eliciting information: A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
- Observation/surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.”
If you see something suspicious or something that gives you an uneasy feeling, call it in. There’s no harm in being cautious and safe when it comes to protecting the well-being of yourself and others around you.
Call 911 and describe, in as much detail as you can recall, what you saw or are seeing, including:
- Who or what you saw;
- When you saw it;
- Where it occurred; and
- Why it’s suspicious.