April is Security Awareness Month: If you see something, say something!

  • Published
  • By Russell Pitts, Installation Antiterrorism Officer, DLA Installation Management Richmond

We all have our daily routines. We go to work, stop by the store, maybe pick up our kids from school and travel home. We usually do not alter our routines unless something unusual occurs. It is the unusual events or unique observations that Defense Logistics Agency, Installation Management Richmond’s Security and Emergency Services wants to hear about! To assist you with reporting these unusual occurrences, DLA has developed a program called DLA iWatch.   

DLA iWatch is an agency-wide, modern-day version of the old Neighborhood Watch program. The program is built around awareness, educating the workforce, reporting unusual occurrences, and building strong security-workforce partnerships.  Awareness starts with understanding the indicators of terrorism, terrorism-related crime, and other suspicious activity and sharing this information to DLA Security Officials before an incident occurs.  An informed, alert workforce plays a critical role in keeping our installation safe. That is why DLA iWatch’s motto is “See Something, Say Something!”

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

  • unusual items or situations: a vehicle parked in an odd location, a package/briefcase left unattended, a window/door found open that is usually closed; or other out-of-the-ordinary situations.
  • a coworker exhibiting unusual behaviors such as grievance building, paranoid behavior - “Everybody is against me”, resistance/overreaction to change, suicidal, or making comments of settling scores.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Some of these activities could be innocent, but it is law enforcement’s responsibility to determine whether the behavior warrants further investigation.  The activities described above are not all-inclusive, but a sample of indicators that have been compiled based on studies of pre-operational aspects of both successful and thwarted terrorist/criminal events over several years.

How to Report Suspicious Activity
Public safety is everyone's responsibility.  If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement, your supervisor, or through the DLA iWatch program.

When sharing your observation(s), describe specifically what you observed, including:

  • who or what you saw;
  • when you saw it;
  • where it occurred; and
  • why it's suspicious