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City Launches 'See Something, Say Something'

Published On: Sep 12 2011 12:55:44 PM CDT   Updated On: Jan 24 2011 07:29:11 AM CST

Spokane Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick hopes citizens will continue to report things or people that appear to be suspicious, but also offered advice on how people can tell the difference when something is harmless or potentially dangerous.

?We do want our citizens to plant the seen in their thinking that when they see something, to say something,? Kirkpatrick said.

Since Monday?s MLK bomb scare, law enforcement have responded to several calls of suspicious packages and in a few cases the entire bomb squad responded.

In each instance after the MLK bomb scare, the packages turned out to be clothing in a suitcase, a thermos full of coffee and a backpack full of random items.

?We rolled out all of our resources, [the suspicious device] was a half of cup of coffee and that?s okay, the person who called did exactly what I asked them to do,? Kirkpatrick said. ?See something, say something, but hopefully over time there will start to be a balance.?

The Chief is hoping people will have a better understanding of what signals to look for. She says people should look for suspicious behavior.

?A distinction would be a person who you see leaving a bag and intentionally walk away, that?s behavior that is out of the norm,? Kirkpatrick said. ?People who are obviously checking inside of cars and obviously taking pictures of our infrastructure.?

She offers similar advice for telling the difference between a suspicious object and just a suitcase full of clothes.

?Is it unusually placed? Exactly what our city contractors did on Monday? here is a backpack on a park bench, it was alone and out of place,? Kirkpatrick said.

The Chief admits that each time they roll out the bomb squad it?s costly and time consuming, but she says after the events of last Monday it is easy to see why they continue to be cautious and says the citizens will do the same.

?I need them to be the eyes and ears for us and they shouldn?t be afraid for them to call us if they think something is out of place,? Kirkpatrick said.

The County?s Office of Emergency Management, along with the Sheriff?s Office is working on launching their own ?See Something, Say Something? campaign.

They will be launching a website later this week and have set up a tip line for citizens to call if they notice unusual behavior that don?t pose an immediate threat. The number is 477-3181.