ACPD Asks Residents to “See Something, Say Something”

by ARLnow.com September 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm 2,588 27 Comments

With the “specific, credible” but unconfirmed threat of a terror attack looming this weekend, Arlington County authorities are asking residents to remain vigilant.

Already, there has been a noticeable uptick in calls to Arlington police for reports of suspicious persons, suspicious cars and objects, and suspicious activity. Using the motto “see something, say something,” police are asking citizens to keep it up.

Arlington County issued the following alert this evening:

This weekend will mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001. Residents of Arlington County may be aware of warnings issued by federal, state, and local agencies regarding potential attacks that may occur during this time. Police Chief M. Douglas Scott would like to assure residents that the Arlington County Police Department has plans in place to address needs as they occur. The police department would like to remind our residents of ways that they can assist in preventing future acts of terrorism.

The Arlington County Police Department joins our federal and local partners in the “See Something Say Something” campaign. The campaign is a simple and effective program developed to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism, crime, and other threats and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities. Remember that the suspicious activity does not need to be criminal in nature to report it to the Arlington County Police.

The 7 Signs of Terrorism awareness are listed below:

1. Surveillance: Recording or monitoring activities. May include drawing diagrams, note taking, use of cameras, binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices, or possessing floor plans or blueprints of key facilities.

2. Elicitation: Attempts to obtain operation, security, and personnel-related information regarding a key facility. May be made by mail, fax, e-mail, telephone, or in person.

3. Tests of Security: Attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches or to penetrate physical security barriers or procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses.

4. Acquiring Supplies: Attempts to improperly acquire items that could be used in a terrorist act. May include the acquisition of explosives, weapons, harmful chemicals, flight manuals, law enforcement or military equipment, uniforms, identification badges, or the equipment to manufacture false identification.

5. Suspicious Persons: Someone who does not appear to belong in a workplace, neighborhood or business establishment due to his/her behavior, including unusual questions or statements he/she make.

6. Dry Runs/Trial Runs: Behavior that appears to be preparation for a terrorist act without actually committing the act. Activity could include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow.

7. Deploying Assets: Placing people, equipment, and supplies into position to commit the act. This is the last opportunity to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs.

Arlington County residents are encouraged to contact the police if they observe suspicious situations by calling 9-1-1 or the non-emergency line at 703-558-2222.

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    OK – honestly, this is useless.

    • Novanglus

      It’s exactly the same thing Montgomery sent out. Must be from Homeland Security. Therefore: useless.

    • Mike Oksmal

      Yeah, according to that list, as a kid I was more than half way to being a “terrorist”.

    • OX4

      Hm, only a dangerous suspect would say that ACPD terrorist guidance is useless. I’m turning you in.

    • drax

      So nobody ever sees something suspicious and thwarts a crime, huh?

  • roquer

    2 problems here: 1) the police have been trying to get folks to call them since dirt was invented. It flat doesn’t happen. (2) Then what happens when they call? The police dispatchers act like they could care less, and shuffle you off, or in the case of DC, put you on hold, until finally you get aggravated enough to hang up.
    I’m with Chris Plant from WMAL, the weapons carrying laws should be lifted for awhile and publicized. Then there would BE no terrorism, cause it wouldn’t be the government sending them to the promised land, it’d be just an ordinary citizen and any self respecting terrorist wants notoriety, not an early, unrecognized grave!

    • Just the Facts

      “People don’t call the police”?!? You clearly don’t know Arlington. Arlingtonians call the police for every little thing: parking complaints, disputes with cashiers over attitude, a strange kitty cat walking down the street. Turn on a scanner the past few days and every other call is a suspicious person or vehicle. People not calling the police is NOT the problem.

    • Chef

      Is Chris Plant sleeping??? Virginia allows for open carry of firearms in public, provided they are holstered (unless in use, wink) and do not cause a disturbance – the threshold of “distubance” seems to be borne by those who are disturbed, so it’s a little murky. Better still, Virginia also has a “shall issue” policy for concealed carry permits for handguns – after filling out the application, taking a safety class and paying $50, you can carry your concealed handgun at will with few exceptions.

      If you happen to make DC or Maryland home, write your state senators, congressman and pen an OP/ED piece.

      If you live in VA, and support handgun rights, please apply for and obtain a permit – even if you don’t carry – supporting the legislation by taking advantage of the permission is the best way to send a supportive message to legislators and the populace!!!!

  • Charles


    • AnnaB

      Ack! It burns!!

  • Wilbur

    No no no, let’s play the game. I’ll start.

    I SEE: Security Theater

    I SAY: If We Dont Spend More Money on Beltway-Bandit Security/Industrial Complex Corporations, the Terrorists Will Win!

  • Alex

    The damage from the recent flooding is probably what we need to be concerned about…

  • Brian

    “See Something Say Something” unless the terrorist is also an illegal alien, in which case ACPD doesn’t want to know.

  • TGEoA

    Move gitmo to the Artisphere.

  • BerryBerryCold

    I saw ACPD cruisers with their windows down. That is pretty unusual. Was a memo put out in response to the thread earlier?

    • CW

      I honestly think there might have been. This morning, the cops in front of Clarendon station were practically asleep in their cruisers. This evening, they were standing there in their olive drab jumpsuits looking all paramilitary and stuff. Lookin sharp, guys!

      Honestly, I like it. I like seeing cops on the beat. I like seeing ACPD officers riding up and down the boulevards on their Harleys with their flags waving in the breeze. It almost reminds me of…gosh, I don’t know, a major metropolitan area with an active police force or something.

  • Teyo

    “1. Surveillance: Recording or monitoring activities. May include drawing diagrams, note taking, use of cameras, binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices, or possessing floor plans or blueprints of key facilities.”

    So if I walk around the Smithsonian taking pictures of things while holding a map of the museum, I’m pretty much headed to Cuba, aren’t I?

    • Barney Fife

      Hmmm. A red light camera. A speed camera. A license plate scanner. Those are all monitoring devices. I think I’ll report them.

  • Confused

    Can anyone say what the four beams of light over Clarendon are? Last night and tonight I have seen these four beams of light which I can only think of as search lights covering the area. I assume it is related to the unconfirmed threat, but could they let us know?

    • CW

      LOL! Fear not. American Tap Room has rented out a spotlight (or four of them, mounted on a trailer, that swivel and move their beams around in the sky) to celebrate its opening. Lots of clubs, etc. do this on big promotional nights. Odd/poor timing, yes, for residents that may be on edge and unnerved by such things.

      • confused

        Thanks CW. When I was a kid they were usually ads for car sales but that was in MA, thanks for clarifying

    • Kurt V.

      Guiding beacons for the Tralfamadorian invaders !!!

      • Dave

        +10 Nice reference!

  • Photog

    #: “use of cameras.” Oh great. Here we go again. Video and still camera people, professional or just mobile phone users, #1 enemy of the state.

    In the broadest sense the act of taking video and photos is NOT ILLEGAL. If I were a terrorist I would already have my photo and would not be wasting time with a tripod, composition, or exposure.

    • Barney Fife

      Only the state is allowed to take stills or video, commerade.

  • John Andre

    IMO there has been too much media publicity surrounding the tenth anniversary of 9/11/2001. This coverage tends to tell our enemies in terrorist organizations that we’re still fixated on these events and may serve to invite further terrorist strikes on our soil. It would be better to keep the media coverage as low-key as possible and to focus principally on commemorative memorial services involving the family members of 9/11 victims rather than rehashing the sequence of events involved. The coverage should also feature due respect for the privacy of 9/11 survivors and family members of the victims. Huge reprises of everything that went on ten years ago tend to divert attention from today’s current news events.

  • The real sam

    Huh. Thinking in an insulated world of your own creation.

    Not even worth rebutting because it just wouldn’t matter what anyone who actually knew how the world worked, or what the survivors or family members want or feel…some people really do feel like memorializing loss even if the world goes on with “today’s current news events”.


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