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News | Feb. 22, 2016

Public Safety: A Shared Responsibility

By Russell K. Pitts, Installation Antiterrorism Officer DLA Installation Support at Richmond

We share everyday observations with our neighbors, colleagues, family, and friends on a routine basis.  Throughout the week, things become the norm as we talk to the same people and travel the same paths.  In those same travels and discussions with co-workers, we may observe something that just doesn’t seem right or is out of place. 

Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support at Richmond’s Security and Emergency Services wants to hear about those unique observations.  So if you see something you know shouldn't be there or someone's behavior that doesn't seem quite right, say something!  Only you know what is out of the ordinary. 

“See Something, Say Something” is the simple message behind the DLA iWatch Program designed by DLA to engage the workforce in protecting our workplace.  Program success is built around awareness, education, reporting and strong security-workforce partnerships.

Awareness starts with understanding the indicators of terrorism, terrorism-related crime, and other suspicious activity so we, as employees, are able to share or report key information to DLA security officials before an incident occurs.  An informed, alert workforce plays a critical role in keeping our installation safe.

Suspicious activity can be defined is any observed behavior that could indicate criminal activity, terrorism or potential terrorism-related activity, including, but not limited to:

  • Unusual items or situations: a vehicle parked in an odd location, a package/briefcase is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed.

  • Eliciting information: a person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc. (Think about your operational security training and apply it here.)

  • Observation/surveillance: someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest; this includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or smart phone); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.

These activities could be innocent, but it is law enforcement’s responsibility to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation.  The examples described above have been compiled based on studies of pre-operational aspects of successful and thwarted terrorist events over several years.

Public safety is everyone's responsibility.  If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement, your supervisor, or through the iWatch e-mail system.

Describe specifically what you observed, including:

  • Who or what you saw

  • When you saw it

  • Where it occurred

  • Why it's suspicious

  • If there is an emergency, call 9–1–1.

  • Non-emergency – e-mail: