The Vermont State Police is joining with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage Vermonters to report suspicious activity to local authorities as part of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign.
The effort to highlight this longstanding initiative comes ahead of the nationwide #SeeSayDay, which DHS has designated for this Sunday, Sept. 25.
DHS says the campaign “is an initiative that encourages individuals across the nation to be the eyes and ears for safer communities. A safe community requires the joint effort of all community members. The more observant and involved individuals are in their daily lives, the less likely crime will occur undetected. If we watch and report suspicious activity, we reduce the areas where criminals feel comfortable committing crimes, resulting in safer towns and cities across the nation.”
In Vermont, people can report suspicious activity by calling 844-84-VTIPS (844-848-8477) or visiting www.vtips.us. In the event of an emergency, call 911.
According to DHS, suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or other criminal activity. Examples include:
- Unusual items or situations: A vehicle in an odd location, unattended luggage/package, open door/window that’s normally closed and locked, etc.
- Eliciting information: Questioning individuals at a level beyond mere curiosity about particular facets of a facility’s or building’s purpose, operations, security, etc.
- Observation/surveillance: Unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. Extended loitering without explanation, particularly in concealed locations with optimal visibility of potential targets. Unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of buildings (e.g., with a video camera or binoculars), taking notes and/or measurements, sketching floor plans.
A handout from DHS on recognizing the signs of terrorism-related suspicious activity is attached to this release. DHS emphasizes that reports should be based only on behavior and not on factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, the exercise of free speech, etc.
People should report suspicious activity to a person in authority, such as a police officer, or by calling a local law enforcement agency or a tipline. “Don’t be afraid to report something, even if you aren’t sure it was serious,” DHS says.
WHAT TO REPORT:
- WHAT did you observe? Be specific.
- WHO did you see?
- WHEN did you see it?
- WHERE did you see this occur?
- WHY is it suspicious?
Again, the contact information for people in Vermont to report suspicious activity is 844-84-VTIPS (844-848-8477) or online at www.vtips.us.
Categories: Press Release