Reply must be at least 200-300 words. For each thread,

Reply must be at least 200-300 words. For each thread, you must support your assertions with at least 2 citations from sources such as your textbook, peer-reviewed journal articles, and the Bible. 

Textbook: Vito, G. F., & Higgins, G. E. (2015). Practical program evaluation for criminal justice. Waltham, MA: Elsevier. ISBN: 9781455777709.


Does See Something, Say Something Work to prevent Terrorism and Criminal Activities

            As a homeland security professional, I viewed an anticrime/counterterrorism program called, “See Something, Say Something”. I decided to discuss this because this program came in handy this week at work. My employees noticed an individual that was outside of the gate, walking through the field outside of the facility.  However, even though he was dressed like a contractor, the employees saw something out of place and reported the incident. The individual was intoxicated on drugs and had exited their car, and the Sheriff Office arrested the individual. The reason the employees reported the activity was they are trained in “See Something, Say Something” and something about this individual’s behavior alarmed the two employees. The purpose of this discussion is to determine if “See Something, Say Something” is an effective program for decreasing terrorism and criminal activities.

Preventing another terrorist attack in the United States continues to be a main mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Law Enforcement Agencies. In July 2010, the DHS, at Secretary Janet Napolitano’s direction, launched a national “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign (US Department of Homeland Security, 2020). This is a part of the National Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative. It is used to raise awareness indicators of potential terrorism and violent crime, emphasizing the importance of reporting these activities to state and local law enforcement (Crime Prevention Association of Michigan, 2011). 

            The findings of the 9/11 Commission Report and Markle Foundation report demonstrated the need to share information that could detect and deter a terrorist attack (Crime Prevention Association of Michigan, 2011). Upon research program evaluations found that “See Something, Say Something” is effective within the transportation network, but not effective for insider threats. The first case study discusses findings of how effective the SAR program is in the transportation network.

            It was found that onsite police, security personnel, transportation employees, transportation passengers, and ordinary citizens have prevented 10.6 percent of 5,372 terrorist attacks on trains, buses, and road targets since 1970 (Jenkins & Butterworth, 2018). 99 percent of these prevented attacks were finding suspicious bomb packages (Jenkins & Butterworth, 2018). Over 13.8 percent of suicide bomb attacks were stopped by people recognizing suspicious activities (Jenkins & Butterworth, 2018). This demonstrates that people recognizing suspicious activities stops attacks, and only 28 percent of these recognized suspicious activities were recognized by law enforcement trained personnel, the other were by ordinary people (Jenkins & Butterworth, 2018). 

            After the US adopted “See Something, Say Something”, other cities (Moscow, Madrid, London, and Mubai) adopted this program.  Even though other cities adopted the program, it does not evaluate the efficiency of the program. A report from the Association of American Railways, offered three examples from New York and New Jersey between a 48-hour window (September 17-19, 2016) on incidents that were stopped by individuals reporting suspicious activities (Jenkins & Butterworth, 2018):

  1. Seaside Park, NJ: Ordinary citizen reported an unattended bag near starting line of 5K charity race. Explosive device was detected and the timer was set to blast during a large crowd of runners.
  2. New York City: Pedestrian saw something like a pressure cooker and reported it to local law enforcement preventing a lethal blast that would have wounded at least 30 people.
  3. Elizabeth, NJ: Two men found a backpack outside a bar with it with explosives. Responding to authorities prevented the explosion.

Empirical evidence from Mineta Transportation Institute noted that over 10 percent of worldwide transportation attacks were thwarted by citizens reporting suspicious activities. The detection rate in industrialized countries is reported at over 14 percent (Jenkins & Butterworth, 2018). Jenkins and Butterworth (2018) complied worldwide data and found that 20.5% of attacks on buses, trains, tracks, and road, were reported by passengers. 

One argument against “See Something, Say Something” is the role of bias of reporting. Detecting suspicious behavior has subjective elements which can reflect personal prejudices (Jenkins & Butterworth, 2018). Behavioral detection is controversial in the United States but widely used by global law enforcement agencies. Critics  of “See Something, Say Something” campaigns major issue with the program is that it leads to racial or ethnic profiling, encouraging people to report individuals of color who stand out, those wearing Muslim dress, and individuals speaking foreign language, as suspicious. However, both proponents and opponents of the program can cite anecdotal evidence that proves that suspicious behavior reporting led to both effective preventions and wrongful allegations (Jenkins & Butterworth, 2018). 

            Another argument against “See Something, Say Something” is that it is not effective against insider threats. People often notice ticking briefcases in the corner, but rarely notice coworker’s changes in behavior. “A 2018 report on Mass Attacks in Public Spaces by the U.S. Secret Service confirms what most people already suspect: there are concrete, observable risk indicators that if reported can potentially lead to significant risk mitigation” (Philipson, 2018, para. 3). Using See Something, Say Something for workplace violence and active shooter incidents is not as effective because individuals require a larger amount of inference to determine changes in individual behaviors (Philipson, 2018). The Counterintelligence Reporting Essentials (CORE), developed by PERSEREC, provides guidance and states that understanding if an employee has the appropriate authorization and acting outside of scope is often unknown by coworkers making it hard to determine if the employee is a threat (Phillipson, 2018). This makes employees less likely to report the behavior. 

            A conscious and engaged public that understands what constitutes unusual and suspicious

behavior is essential to protecting our communities from terrorist threats. Reporting suspicious behavior in the workplace tends to be a more difficult task. There is clear evidence that See Something, Say Something has stopped terrorist attacks and criminal activities; however, how can the program be improved?

            The Bible reminds us to keep a watchful eye, “To be watchful means to be in a state of readiness” (Matthew 25:13, English Standard Version). It also says to be sober-minded and watchful because the devil prowls around like a lion, seeking to destroy (1 Peter 5:8, English Standard Version). Christians are charged to be on the watch and look for abhorrent behaviors. 1 Corinthians 16:13 states, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (English Standard Version). 

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