“There is a bit of a stigma to reporting suspicious behavior that we’re trying to communicate to the public,” he said. “They might think it’s not a big deal, see something and forget about it. But take a few minutes to contact either the event organizers, security on site, police, firefighters, or other public service professionals.”
IDHS Executive Director John Hill added, “Citizen awareness is one of the best partners we have against manmade crisis. We need the average person to know that their input is critical to preventing violent
situations. Do not feel embarrassed for reporting anything out of the ordinary."
The IDHS says it’s important to take note of several key details, such as when and where a person is at the time they notice the suspicious activity. The IDHS also urges citizens to get a description of individuals involved such as gender, age, physical description, and unique characteristics and to take note of any vehicles involved, make and model of the vehicle, and its direction of travel.
Examples of suspicious activity include monitoring personnel, testing security, unusual or prolonged interest in security measures, or purposely placing objects in sensitive areas to observe response.
For example, a person taking photos at a high profile event is not unusual in itself, but if that person is only taking photos of security cameras or personnel, that activity would be suspicious.
“If you just don’t feel right about it, if it seems odd, report it,” Erickson said. “Even if that one piece of information doesn’t lead to something, we’re getting other reports. That (information) might be put together with three to five other reports where violence can be prevented.”
He added that an environment like a marathon can present challenges that something like the Indianapolis 500 do not, and that adds to the need for citizen vigilance.