FDLE Is Again Asking For Citizens' Vigilance
In the wake of terror attacks in Paris, Colorado Springs and San Bernardino, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is bringing back the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign.
“This was something that was launched in 2011,” says FDLE's Molly Best. “Florida wanted to make sure that we take the initiative in light of recent events. It’s so important that our citizens in our communities are aware of what to look for.”
While the campaign never really ended, FDLE is redistributing information to law enforcement agencies and the media, along with reposting the information on social media. FDLE is not looking for any particular type of person, but suspicious activities in general. Best has some suggestions on what constitutes suspicious activity.
“If you see people hanging around, especially businesses that have fuel or chemicals or any kind of toxic material. If you see that somebody’s paying a lot of attention to any kind of facility or buildin, beyond just a casual or professional interest, [or] any kind of vehicle that’s parked in an area where it normally shouldn’t be.”
Those, along with people in secure areas where they’re not supposed to be, or left behind briefcases, suitcases, backpacks or packages. Despite resurrecting “Say Something, See Something,” FDLE is not planning any real changes to its day-to-day operation.
Calls to the ACLU of Northwest Florida seeking comment were not returned.
When the campaign was begun in 2011, State ACLU Executive Director Howard Simon called it a “turn in your neighbor program,” adding “they produce unreliable information and are little more than a government sponsored invitation to view everyone as a potential criminal and act on racial and ethnic stereotypes.”
“Any kind of report that is found to lack credibility will be discarded,” said FDLE’s Molly Best, who adds that the agency’s Fusion Center is staffed around the clock, with analysts taking the data, and passing them along to the appropriate investigators.
“This is also anonymous when they provide that information,” Best said.
For more information or to make a report, call 1-855-FLA-SAFE (352-7233), or visit www.fdle.state.fl.us.