Janet Napolitano intros "If You See Something, Say Something" video: Like 24, except lamer

Why was Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in Denver yesterday? To promote the expansion to Colorado of DHS' "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign. The flagship item is a video on view below about the general public keeping an eye out for terrorist activities -- and it plays like the lamest-imaginable outtakes from random 24 episodes. The least the feds could have done is to get John Elway to narrate it.

Look below to see the video, as well as DHS press releases about Napolitano's local chat and the program as a whole:

Secretary Napolitano's Visit to Denver

Denver -- Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to Denver to meet with state and major urban area fusion center leaders and deliver remarks at the National Fusion Center Conference, where she announced the expansion of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign to the state of Colorado.

"Homeland security begins with hometown security, and our national network of fusion centers plays a critical role in improving our collective ability to protect our communities," said Secretary Napolitano. "Ensuring our security is a shared responsibility that requires every individual to be alert and to recognize and report suspicious behavior."

During her remarks to more than 1,000 fusion center directors, homeland security advisors, law enforcement and intelligence officials, Secretary Napolitano reiterated the Department's strong support for fusion centers -- highlighting the deployment of 70 experienced DHS intelligence officers to work side by side with federal, state and local fusion center personnel nationwide to assess threats and share information.

Secretary Napolitano also discussed the importance of fusion centers to initiatives such as the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative -- an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism, crime and other threats; standardize how those observations are documented and analyzed; and expand and enhance the sharing of those reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DHS.

In addition, Secretary Napolitano announced the statewide expansion of DHS' "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign to Colorado, and launched DHS' new "If You See Something, Say Something ™" public awareness video, available here. The "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign and video are based on a simple and effective program to engage the public to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.

Over the past nine months, DHS has worked with its federal, state, local and private sector partners to expand the "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign as well as the Nationwide SAR Initiative to communities throughout the country.

Yesterday, Secretary Napolitano joined Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) officials to launch a new partnership with the MBTA on the "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign.

"If You See Something, Say Something™" Campaign

Report Suspicious Activity to Local Law Enforcement or Call 911.

In July 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), at Secretary Janet Napolitano's direction, launched a national "If You See Something, Say Something™" public awareness campaign -a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and violent crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper state and local law enforcement authorities. The campaign was originally used by New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which has licensed the use of the slogan to DHS for anti-terrorism and anti-crime efforts.

A critical element of the DHS mission is ensuring that the civil rights and civil liberties of persons are not diminished by our security efforts, activities, and programs. Consequently, the "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign respects civil rights or civil liberties by emphasizing behavior, rather than appearance, in identifying suspicious activity.

Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious. For that reason, the public should report only suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack in a public place or someone trying to break into a restricted area) rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech unrelated to terrorism or other criminal activity. Only reports that document behavior reasonably indicative of criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with federal partners.

The "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign is being launched in conjunction with the rollout of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) (PDF, 2 pages -- 545 KB). The NSI is an administration-wide effort to develop, evaluate, and implement common processes and policies for gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing information about terrorism-related suspicious activities. Led by the Department of Justice, the NSI is implemented in partnership with state and local officials across the nation.

If you SEE something SAY something. Did you see something suspicious on your way to the game? Then say something to the authorities to make it right. Report suspicious activity. Call local law enforcement.

Both the "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign and the NSI underscore the concept that homeland security begins with hometown security, where an alert public plays a critical role in keeping our nation safe.

To date, the Department has launched "If You See Something, Say Something™" with: Amtrak; the general aviation community; the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department; the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA); the U.S. Tennis Association; a variety of states including six states participating in the Southern Shield that joined the NSI -- Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida; the New York Mets; Meadowlands Stadium; the American Hotel and Lodging Association; New Jersey Transit; the Mall of America; Walmart; the National Football League (NFL); the National Basketball Association (NBA); and all federal buildings across the country protected by the Federal Protective Service.

DHS will continue to roll out the campaign to numerous additional states and partners in the private sector.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts