“If You See Something, Say Something®” is a national campaign that raises public awareness of the indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, as well as the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement.
The “If You See Something, Say Something®” campaign works with partners year-round to empower and educate the public on suspicious activity reporting. September is National Preparedness Month, and Sept. 25 has been designated as National “If You See Something, Say Something®” Awareness Day, also known as #SeeSayDay.
An informed and alert public play a critical role in keeping our nation and communities safe. By learning the indicators of terrorism-related crimes, paying attention to your surroundings, and reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement, you can help keep your community safe, too.
To raise awareness on how to recognize and report suspicious activity during National Preparedness Month, we invite you to share on social media why you say something when you see something suspicious using #WhyISeeSay and #SeeSayDay.
With the help of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI), the campaign has identified indicators of terrorism-related suspicious activity. These include, but are not limited to, unusual items or situations, eliciting information, and observation/surveillance. Some of these activities could be innocent—it’s up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation.
But we can all help keep our communities safe by paying attention to our surroundings and reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
Protecting Citizens’ Civil Rights & Civil Liberties
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.
Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious. The public should only report suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack or package, or someone breaking into a restricted area) to your local law enforcement. Do not act on or move/remove suspicious items. Only reports that document behavior that reasonably shows criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with federal partners.
How to Report Suspicious Activity
Public safety and security are everyone’s responsibility. If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement or a person of authority using the “5W’s.”
Whether you are on your way to work, walking in your neighborhood, or out and about in your community, remember: We all play a role in keeping our communities safe. Remember to stay vigilant and say something when you see signs of suspicious activity.
Information within was provided by the US Department of Homeland Security website. For more information visit them at dhs.gov/see-something-say-something.
Shawn Cunningham is the Meigs County Health Department Emergency Response Coordinator.