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DHS expands awareness program with Los Angeles authorities
Port of Los Angeles
The Department of Homeland Security has teamed with Los Angeles city and port authority law enforcement to expand its “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign in the region.
On April 25, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, Chief of Los Angeles Port Police Ronald Boyd and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck at the Los Angeles port of entry in a joint announcement expanding the campaign to the city of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
"Every citizen plays a role in identifying and reporting suspicious activities and threats," said Secretary Napolitano. "Expanding the 'If You See Something, Say Something' campaign to Los Angeles and across the country is an important part of our efforts to partner with the public to keep our country safe and resilient."
The campaign was originally implemented by New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority and licensed to DHS for a nationwide use. It encourages the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.
DHS and the city of Los Angeles will distribute campaign posters in English and Spanish throughout the city, with materials displayed throughout the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Transit System, the Port of Los Angeles, as well as police stations and fire stations, according to the agency.
The expansion of the program into greater Los Angeles comes a month after DHS teamed with leading sports and entertainment provider AEG at the company's STAPLES Center to expand the campaign to stadiums, arenas, theatres, clubs, convention centers and other venues owned by or affiliated with AEG Facilities, which is a division of Los Angeles-based AEG.
DHS said it has worked with federal, state, local and private sector partners, as well as the Department of Justice, to aggressively expand the program and the related Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative over the last nine months. SAR trains state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism, crime and other threats; standardize how those observations are documented and analyzed; and expand and enhance the sharing of those reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DHS—to communities throughout the country.
DHS has partnered with a wide variety of businesses to spread the campaign. It teamed with by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL), as well as in several states including Colorado, Minnesota and New Jersey, more than 9,000 federal buildings nationwide, Walmart, Mall of America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the general aviation industry, and state and local fusion centers across the country.
The campaign dovetails with the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) that replaced the old, disused color-coded advisory system, according to DHS. The new alerts are aimed at providing more information and advice on what citizens can do about them.