If You See Something, Say Something®

Do you and/or would you report something suspicious? The slogan If You See Something, Say Something® was originally implemented and trademarked by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NY MTA). In July 2010, the NY MTA granted a license to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use the trademarked slogan for the purpose of implementing a nationwide anti-terrorism campaign.

what will you do if you see something would you say something

Why If You See Something, Say Something®

The Department of Homeland Security campaign was launched in conjunction with the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) and has partnered with various organizations to raise awareness in communities across the country. The program partners with state and local governments, federal agencies, major sports leagues, transit stations, entertainment venues, private businesses, places of worship, nonprofits, and many other types of organizations.

See Something, Say Something® was designed to raise public awareness about recognizing the signs of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and how to report suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement.

This public safety program encourages citizens to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement or other authorities and it encourages individuals to remain vigilant in reporting any activities that appear to be suspicious in nature. The premise behind this program is that citizens can play an important role in helping to keep their communities safer by being aware of their surroundings and reporting anything that appears out of the ordinary or could be related to criminal activity. Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that may indicate pre-operational planning associated with terrorism or terrorism-related crime. 

Understanding Your Importance of See Something, Say Something®

Understanding your role as an informed citizen may help you to thwart a potential criminal act or terrorist activity may save the lives of citizens in your community. The process begins with being aware of your own surroundings and notifying authorities of suspicious activity when observed. It may also include noticing an unattended package or bag, someone taking pictures of highly sensitive locations, or simply someone acting strangely or asking probing questions about security, cameras, hours of operation, etc.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement should include the 5Ws (Who, What, When, Where, and Why): 

  • Who or what you saw
  • When you saw it
  • Where it occurred
  • Why it’s suspicious
report the 5ws telephone with sticky on it

What should you look for in

See Something, Say Something®

The Department of Homeland Security has detailed a list of suspicious activities to help citizens identify suspicious activity. 

  • Expressed or Implied Threat: Threatening to commit a crime that could harm or kill people or damage a facility, infrastructure, or secured site.
  • Surveillance: A prolonged interest in or taking pictures/videos of personnel, facilities, security features, or infrastructure in an unusual or covert manner.
  • Theft/Loss/Diversion: Stealing or diverting items—such as equipment, uniforms, or badges—that belong to a facility or secured site.
  • Testing or Probing of Security: Investigating or testing a facility’s security or IT systems to assess the strength or weakness of the target.
  • Aviation Activity: Operating or interfering with the operation of an aircraft that poses a threat of harm to people and property.
  • Breach/Attempted Intrusion: Unauthorized people trying to enter a restricted area or impersonating authorized personnel.
  • Acquisition of Expertise: Gaining skills or knowledge on a specific topic, such as facility security, military tactics, or flying an aircraft.
  • Eliciting Information: Questioning personnel beyond mere curiosity about an event, facility, or operations.
  • Misrepresentation: Presenting false information or misusing documents to conceal possible illegal activity.
  • Cyberattack: Disrupting or compromising an organization’s information technology systems.
  • Recruiting/Financing: Funding suspicious or criminal activity or recruiting people to participate in criminal or terrorist activity.
  • Sabotage/Tampering /Vandalism: Damaging or destroying part of a facility, infrastructure, or secured site.
  • Materials Acquisition/Storage: Acquisition and/or storage of unusual materials such as cell phones, radio controllers, or toxic materials.
  • Weapons Collection/Storage: Collection or discovery of unusual amounts of weapons including explosives, chemicals, or other destructive materials.
  • Sector-Specific Incident: Actions which raise concern to specific sectors (e.g., power plant) regarding their personnel, facilities, systems, or functions.
Spy collecting data

Who to call for See Something, Say Something®

The Department of Homeland Security’s website offers an interactive map to help citizens to learn where and how to report suspicious activity in your state or territory. Many states offer a dedicated “tip line” for terrorism-related activity reporting purposes. Visit the following link to access the map.

Map to report

Further, if you are interested in receiving alerts about terrorist threats, DHS offers an email subscription service through the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS). It is designed to communicate alerts or bulletins about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the American public. According to the DHS website, where possible and applicable, NTAS advisories will include steps that individuals and communities can take to protect themselves from the threat as well as help detect or prevent an attack before it happens. Individuals should review the information contained in the alert or bulletin, and based upon the circumstances, take the recommended precautionary or preparedness measures for themselves and their families.

Did you know that September 28th is designated as National “If You See Something, Say Something®” Awareness Day, or #SeeSayDay? Annually, DHS and its campaign partners across the country use this day to remind the public to be aware of suspicious activity and how to report it to law enforcement. Citizens play an important role in helping to protect communities across the country when we know what to report and how to report it. Stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings. Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website for more information. 

Backpack left alone
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *