Someone Saw Something – Someone Said Something

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Harry Rhulen Crisis Training By Harry Rhulen, Firestorm CEO

In May of 2013, a 17-year-old in Oregon had planned to bomb his high school in an attack that was “specifically modeled” after Columbine. Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson noted that Grant Acord had every plan to top the 1999 Colorado attack.

Albany police became suspicious after they “received information that associated Acord with manufacturing a destructive device with the intent of detonating it at a school.”  West Albany High School’s principal sent a note to students’ parents, asking them to urge their children to come forward and speak with police if they knew anything about the plan.  And someone did.  

Someone saw something, someone said something.

Bus ChildIn Wisconsin, police released more than 50 pages of reports that detailed an alleged plot by two teens to plant bombs at Wauwatosa East High School.  Police said the plan came to light after a classmate heard two teens talk about putting a small bomb in a stairwell that would lead people to another area — where a bigger explosive would be waiting.

Someone saw something, someone said something.

As detailed on the DHS website, the nationwide “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign – is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities. The campaign was originally used by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

If you see something suspicious taking place, report that behavior or activity to local law enforcement or in the case of emergency call 9-1-1. Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious. For that reason, the public should report only suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack in a public place or someone trying to break into a restricted area) rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech unrelated to terrorism or other criminal activity. Only reports that document behavior reasonably indicative of criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with federal partners.

The issue of reporting is paramount. People must understand that if they see something, it is their obligation to say something. Every company, school and organization must have an anonymous reporting process as part of their overall planning to ensure that their people have a methodology by which to report anything that they see.

These programs must be implemented, trained and tested on a regular basis. Invariably, someone knew something or saw something before every major event occurred.

 


ATTENDJoin Harry Rhulen, CEO, Firestorm Solutions, as he explores methods to foster reporting of suspicious activity in a safe manner, with examples of tools such as Safe2Tell®.  Safe2Tell® provides young people a way to report any threatening behaviors or activities endangering themselves or someone they know, in a way that keeps them safe and anonymous.
Firestorm will also share strategies during the webinar that will help your school effectively communicate the steps you are undertaking to make your campus a safer place.

 

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