Antiterrorism takes focus

| August 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Neil Carrington
Contributing Writer

Army senior leadership has approved the Army’s adoption of the iWATCH Antiterrorism Awareness Program, a nationwide, modern version of the Neighborhood Watch program developed by the Los Angeles Police Department to encourage and enable members of the community to identify and report suspicious behavior that may be associated with terrorist activities.
The Army has also directed Armywide implementation of iWATCH to run concurrently with the Army’s Antiterrorism Awareness Month in August. The purpose of iWATCH is to promote antiterrorism awareness and leverage. Every member of the installation should act as a sensor to help identify and prevent potential terrorist acts.
Two elements define the initiative: “passive” and “active.”
The passive element of iWATCH is individual situational awareness of your surroundings. The active element requires individuals to take action and report suspicious behavior or activities to law enforcement for further investigation.
An essential component of iWATCH is reporting suspicious activity. IWATCH aspires to ensure everyone knows how to report suspicious activity. If you see something, say so. Report suspicious activity to your garrison law enforcement desk immediately.
The key to implementing iWATCH is education on the initiative itself, on indicators of terrorist activity and on reporting suspicious activity.
Be alert at all times for suspicious activity. Maintain individual situational awareness of your surroundings.
Everyone can make a difference by recognizing what to report and reporting it to security forces or law enforcement personnel.
Law enforcement officials cannot be everywhere and need the eyes and ears of the entire installation community to help in quell terrorism.  Remember, if you see something, say something!
(Editor’s Note: Neil Carrington is the Fort McPherson, Ga., emergency manager, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.)

What’s suspicious?
•People drawing or measuring important buildings.
•Strangers asking questions about security procedures.
•Briefcases, suitcases, backpacks or packages left unattended.
•Vehicles left in no parking zones in front of important buildings.
•Unfamiliar people in secure areas.
•Persons wearing clothes that are noticeably too big or too hot for the weather.
•Chemical smells or fumes that seem out of the ordinary for the specific location.
•People asking questions about sensitive information, such as building blueprints, security plans or important travel schedules.
•People purchasing supplies or equipment that can be used to make bombs or weapons, or purchasing uniforms without having the proper credentials.

To report suspicious activity
•Call 655-7117 for Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield and Helemano Military Reservation.
•Call 438-7114 for Fort Shafter, Tripler Army Medical Center and Aliamanu Military Reservation.
•Call 438-2650 for Fort DeRussy.
•Call 969-2429 for the Pohakula Training Area (Big Island).

Category: News, Safety

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