iWatch: Big police depts back anti-terror citizen watch

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Islamic starts with ‘i’. But let’s not be serious for even a moment lest Keith Ellison, CAIR, or high level DHS placements get irate and quash the program.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nation’s big city police chiefs are backing an anti-terrorism community watch program to educate people about what behavior is truly suspicious and ought to be reported to police.

Police Chief William Bratton of Los Angeles, whose department developed the iWATCH program, calls it the 21st century version of Neighborhood Watch.

Using brochures, public service announcements and meetings with community groups, iWATCH is designed to deliver concrete advice on how the public can follow the oft-repeated post-9/11 recommendation: “If you see something, say something.” Program materials list nine types of suspicious behavior that should prompt people to call police and 12 kinds of places to look for it.

The program also is designed to ease reporting by providing a dedicated toll-free phone number and Internet Web page through which the public can alert authorities. Los Angeles has already begun its toll-free number and planned to put its Web site up this weekend.

The Major Cities Chiefs Association, headed by Bratton and comprised of the chiefs of the 63 largest police departments in the United States and Canada, was expected to endorse iWATCH at its conference in Denver on Saturday as a model for all its communities.

“It’s really just common sense types of things,” Bratton said.

But American Civil Liberties Union policy counsel Mike German, a former FBI agent who worked on terrorism cases, said the indicators are all relatively common behaviors. And he suspects people will fall back on personal biases and preconceived stereotypes of what a terrorist looks like when making the decision to report someone to the police.

“That just plays into the negative elements of society and doesn’t really help the situation,” German said.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration proposed enlisting postal carriers, gas and electric company workers, telephone repairmen and other workers with access to private homes in a program to report suspicious behavior to the FBI. Privacy advocates condemned this as too intrusive, and the plan was dropped.

Bratton and LAPD Commander Joan McNamara, who developed iWATCH, say privacy and civil liberties protections are built into this program.

“We’re not asking people to spy on their neighbors,” McNamara said.

If someone reports something based on race or ethnicity, the police will not accept the report, and someone will explain to the caller why that is not an indicator of suspicious behavior, McNamara said.

The iWATCH program isn’t the first to list possible indicators of suspicious behavior. Some cities, like Miami, have offered a public list of seven signs of possible terrorism. Federal agencies also have put out various lists over the years.

A new anti-terrorism community watch program, iWATCH, beginning this weekend in Los Angeles, advises the public that these nine suspicious signs should be reported to police:

—People drawing or measuring important buildings.
—Strangers asking questions about security or building security procedures.
—Briefcase, suitcase, backpack or package left behind.
—Cars or trucks left in “No Parking” zones in front of important buildings.
—Intruders in secure areas where they are not supposed to be.
—A person wearing clothes that are too big and too heavy for the weather.
—Chemical smells or fumes that worry you.
—Questions about sensitive information such as building blueprints, security plans or VIP travel schedules without a right or need to know.
—Purchasing supplies or equipment that can be used to make bombs or weapons or purchasing uniforms without having proper credentials.

The iWATCH program advises people to be alert for those behaviors at these 12 important types of places:
—Government buildings.
—Religious facilities.
—Amusement parks.
—Sports/Entertainment venues.
—High-rise buildings.
—Mass-gathering locations — such as parades and fairs.
—Schools.
—Hotels.
—Theaters.
—Shopping malls.
—Bridges.
—Public transportation.

via My Way News – Big police depts back anti-terror citizen watch and kfsm.com – New iWATCH program tells citizens what to watch for and where

A good idea, and who knows what they hope to achieve with it, but without any context it is like searching grannies at the airport. Meanwhile prison systems are incubators of Islamic converts and an army of potential jihadists, the borders are wide open and we are importing adherents to the jihadist ideology at a rapid pace, and the State Dept. is promoting that ideology as if appeasement were an official policy.

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