We all play a role in keeping our communities safe.
As Scouts, we do things like pick up trash, learn basic first-aid skills, know what to do in case of severe weather, and otherwise promise to help other people at all times.
It’s easy to see why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s If You See Something, Say Something® campaign is a perfect fit.
Originally implemented by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the slogan is now used as part of DHS’s nationwide anti-terrorism campaign to remind the public that they play an important role in reporting suspicious behaviors to law enforcement.
As leaders in our communities, it makes perfect sense for Scout leaders, parents and Scouts themselves to understand that we can all help if we know what kind of suspicious activity to look for and how to report it. The Boy Scouts of America is proud to partner with DHS to help raise awareness of this critical initiative.
Recognizing suspicious activity
Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that may indicate that someone is planning an attack or terrorism-related crime. With the help of the National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, DHS has identified several common signs of terrorism-related suspicious activity. Please note that some of these activities could turn out to be innocent, which is why you should report it to law enforcement officials who are trained to determine whether the behavior warrants further action.
Here are some examples to look out for:
- Someone threatening to commit a crime that could harm or kill people or damage a facility, infrastructure or secured site.
- Someone with a prolonged interest in or taking pictures or videos of personnel, facilities, security features or infrastructure in an unusual or covert manner.
- Someone stealing or diverting items — such as equipment, uniforms or badges — that belong to a facility or secured site.
- Unauthorized personnel trying to enter a restricted area or impersonating authorized personnel.
- Disrupting or compromising an organization’s information technology systems.
- Collection or discovery of unusual amounts of weapons including explosives, chemicals, or other destructive materials.
Reporting suspicious activity
Remember: If you see something that looks suspicious, it’s not your job to investigate. Report what you saw, and leave the rest up to the pros.
If you see suspicious activity, report it to law enforcement and describe specifically what you observed, including:
- Who you saw;
- What you saw;
- Where you saw it;
- Why it seemed suspicious.
Every state has its own suspicious activity tip line. Click here to find out how to report suspicious activity in your area.
If there is an immediate emergency, call 911. Do not report suspicious activity to DHS. Instead, notify your local law enforcement.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated September 25 as “If You See Something, Say Something®” Awareness Day, also known as #SeeSayDay. DHS and its campaign partners, such as the Boy Scouts of America, come together on #SeeSayDay to remind the public to be aware of suspicious activity and how to report it to law enforcement. Click here to learn more about how you can participate in #SeeSayDay.