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‘Seeing Something & Saying Something’ Friday Night On Amtrak: National Anti-Terror Tips Program Asking Public For Help Begins Rollout On The Rails With New Posters

August 16th, 2010 · 2 Comments

On the Amtrak train back to New York City Friday night from Washington, I saw something and said something — but this tip was good news.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has just begun rolling out a national “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, and I saw its new advertising posters in many of the cars. I had been at DHS headquarters earlier in the day hearing more about the new launch from officials managing the program. They weren’t sure how extensive distribution has gotten thus far, and my e-mail tip confirmed that the ads were at least up all over my train. Below are a couple of the new posters hot off the presses:

A new “If You See Something, Say Something” poster just going up on Amtrak trains aimed at the public.

The national expansion of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign is part of DHS’s new effort to support state and local law enforcement, community groups and the public in identifying and mitigating terror threats whose theme is “Homeland security begins with hometown security”.

The new measures are based on recommendations made by the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s (HSAC) “Countering Violent Extremism” Working Group—comprised of chiefs of police, sheriffs, community leaders and homeland security experts—on ways DHS can better support community-based efforts to combat violent extremism in the United States.

Expanding the community and citizen role in homeland security has been encouraged by the blog, and I think it is a terrific development. Most of the new initiatives are directed towards bolstering the work of state and local law enforcement organizations — including a series of regional summits beginning this fall on successful community-oriented policing and other crime reduction programs. But Napolitano also announced some proposals focused directly on the public, most prominently the expansion of “See Something, Say Something”.

In the coming months, DHS will continue to rollout the campaign nationally the U.S. with public education materials, the poster ads and other outreach tools to engage travelers, businesses, community organizations and public and private sector employees to remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the country safe. The focus on the state, local and public reflects an increased threat coming out of communities from around the U.S., which might not fully hit the national intelligence radar.

Poster for general aviation locations

The campaign posters will begin to become ubiquitous in the transportation sector, including on trains, general aviation sites and soon on buses and subways. It has been developed to be customizable by location. For example, in cities one of the taglines is: ”did you see something suspicious commuting to work or grabbing some lunch” along with a local contact phone number. Officials from many sports facilities and college campuses have also expressed interest in taking advantage of the campaign for their locations.

The new blue “if you SEE something logo SAY something” logo — which is a little softer and less visibly urgent than the original New York executions with yellow background and block black lettering (but now also blue) — was created by a designer at the Transportation Security Administration. If you’ve ’seen’ the new ads yourself, what do you ’say’ about them?

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Tags: City Preparedness · County Preparedness · Department of Homeland Security · See Something/Terrorism Tips · State Preparedness · Transportation Preparedness

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Claire B. Rubin // Aug 16, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Good work nudging the Feds along to do something about better safety and security on public transportation modes other than the airlines.

  • 2 DutchR // Aug 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I traveled across PA to NYC earlier this month via rail and not airplane. This experience was altogether enjoyable, but quite unnerving upon contemplation.
    Two observations for your consideration.
    1. No security checks @ boarding either way. Nothing in rural PA and nothing in any of the NYC stations either.
    Is this the “best practice”?
    2.I also rode multiple times on the NYC Subway, Metro DC subway, LI Railway, Amtrak and Metro NYC area bus lines. In the last two months. Millions of others are doing this each day, 24 /7. If the riders don’t embrace the attitude of “if you see something , say something” then what? Who is watching this important doorway?

    I’m not paranoid, but I am very concerned.

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