Homeland Security emphasizes citizen awareness
PDT Staff Writer
The Scioto County Emergency Management Agency is re-emphasizing a phrase used in recent years by Homeland Security, “If you see something, say something.”
In response to the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, officials from Ohio Homeland Security and the state’s three fusion centers located in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati are working closely with federal authorities and monitoring the situation as it unfolds. Homeland Security officials told Kim Carver, Director of the Scioto County EMA, if information becomes available that could impact the safety and security of Ohio, it will be shared with state and local authorities, as well as the general public and private sector entities.
Officials are reminding the public that the reporting of suspicious activity is one of the nation’s best defenses against terrorist threats and the greatest resource to build resilience.
Officials at Homeland Security said everyday members of the public work with law enforcement officers to help keep America’s communities safe by reporting activities that are out of the ordinary and suspicious. They said those reports play a vital role in countering terrorism and crime.
“An aware and engaged public that understands what constitutes unusual and suspicious behavior is essential to protecting our communities from terrorist threats,” the Homeland Security brief said.
Examples of unusual activities that should cause a heightened sense of suspicion:
• Monitoring personnel or vehicles entering/leaving facilities or parking area
• Burns on body, missing finger(s) or hand, bloody clothing, bleached body hair or bright colored
stains on clothing; switch or wires concealed in hand, clothing or backpack
• Unusual or prolonged interest in the following: security measures or personnel; security cameras;
entry points and access controls; perimeter barriers (fences/walls); unattended train or bus
• Purposely placing objects (e.g., packages, luggage, vehicles) in sensitive or vulnerable areas to
observe security responses
• Individuals or actions which are out of place for their surroundings (e.g., over or under dressed for
• Unusual, vague, or cryptic threats, warnings, or comments about harming others
Some of these activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine where there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined above are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.
If You See Something, Say Something - Contact Ohio Homeland Security at 1-877-OHS-INTEL or for emergencies, call 911.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.
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