Senior leaders proclaimed August Antiterrorism Awareness Month in 2014 with a campaign slogan “See Something, Say Something.” With the escalation in force protection level to Bravo by the NORTHCOM Commander there is an emphasis by the White Sands Missile Range leadership and Directorate of Emergency Services to remain vigilant year round.
“If it looks suspicious—call,” said WSMR Chief of Police, Wayne Cates. “Citizens in the community can become the eyes and ears of law enforcement and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement. Police officers will check out the situation. What you see and report may be invaluable in protecting lives and reducing crime.”
According to an army.mil article, complacency, if present, provides the enemy with a critical intangible of war — opportunity. The Army understands the security challenges and threat opportunity and is fully capable of managing complacency when and where necessary.
“The security forces can’t be everywhere. It is our job to support them and inform them of anything we suspect. It is truly a team effort to ensure the community is safe,” said WSMR Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jesus DeGracia.
“White Sands police officers are very much aware of the heightened sense of security and vigilance. They are focused in and around the access control points and throughout the installation. More frequent random checks of vehicles at the access control points and at other locations on White Sands will be conducted,” Cates said.
A key area Cates emphasized is that DES relies on a partnership with the public to report suspicious activities. According to DES here are some tips on what to report:
- A stranger loitering in your neighborhood or a vehicle cruising the streets repeatedly; someone peering into cars or windows; a high volume of traffic going to and coming from a home on a daily basis
- Someone loitering around schools, parks or secluded areas; strange odors coming from a house or building
- Open or broken doors and windows at a closed business or unoccupied residence; someone tampering with electrical, gas or sewer systems without an identifiable company vehicle or uniform
- Sounds of breaking glass, gunshots, screaming or fighting; strangers removing license plates or loading valuables into vehicles from a residence even if the moving truck looks legitimate
- A timely, quick and accurate description of events, vehicles, and persons can make all the difference in apprehending a potential criminal and preventing a crime.
- Any type of activity or circumstance that seems unusual should be reported
- By reporting suspicious activities citizens can help police make their communities safer and more secure, reduce violence, minimize victimization, reduce crime and violence and improve the overall quality of life
“This is one instance where perception does pay off. If you perceive something going wrong just make a phone call to get it checked out,” DeGracia said.
The WSMR community is encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the WSMR Police at 678-1234.