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Working Together to Keep Shoppers Safe

Posted by John Cohen, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis and Counterterrorism Coordinator

Every day, malls around the country work closely with DHS, FBI and state and local law enforcement to keep shoppers safe. This year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is partnering with a number of communities across the state of New Hampshire as part of our If You See Something, Say Something™ campaign and displaying materials encouraging shoppers to report suspicious activity to local authorities.

At the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), homeland security begins with hometown security. We’re all safer when everyone is alert and engaged, and that’s what the Department’s nationwide If You See Something, Say Something™ public awareness campaign is all about.  Currently, DHS partners with a number of shopping centers, including the Mall of America, Walmart, Simon Property Group, and the Building Owners and Managers Association, to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities.

DHS, in partnership with the FBI, regularly communicates with our partners in federal, state, and local government, as well as in the private sector, about the threats facing our Nation. As part of this ongoing engagement, DHS works with the retail and shopping center industries to enhance security and increase preparedness. DHS also participates in training exercises with our retail industry partners to establish readiness while providing support and resources to their ongoing security operations. 

Along with our partnership with the retail industry, DHS and the FBI continue to work together with the commercial facilities sector to increase the preparedness and resilience of public spaces.  DHS offers a broad set of tools to help our law enforcement and private sector partners prepare for and mitigate potential threats, from our online active shooter portal to a recently announced pilot program that will provide local law enforcement with a platform for active shooter training.

We have seen the value of public vigilance in thwarting terrorism and crime time and again, so remember: if you see something that doesn’t look right, report it to local authorities. When we each do our part, we are working together to keep our nation safe, one hometown at a time.

For more information about the If You See Something, Say Something™ campaign, visit here.

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