Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the Department of Homeland Security.
Today I joined law enforcement partners from the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, the National Latino Peace Officers Association, and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department to launch our Spanish-language Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in support of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign.
At DHS, we often say that homeland security begins with hometown security. It begins with our state and local law enforcement partners, businesses, communities, and individual citizens all working together to identify potential threats and report suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.
Time and again, we have seen the value of public vigilance in thwarting terrorism and crime, including foiled plots against Times Square in May 2010, an MLK day parade route in Washington state last year, and more recently, the Fort Hood Army Base.
One way we have promoted the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign is by airing PSAs on television and radio encouraging individuals to report suspicious activity – a suspicious bag or package, someone who is acting in a suspicious manner, or a vehicle that seems out of place – to authorities.
We want to reach as many people as possible with these messages because every person and every community has a role to play. And that’s why today we released Spanish-language versions of the PSAs to help us more directly engage our Hispanic law enforcement partners and our nation’s Hispanic community, one of the largest and fastest growing populations in our country.
I’d like to thank the law enforcement organizations that joined us today and all those who are contributing to this effort across the country. We are pleased to have their support in ensuring our nation’s safety and security, and we are going to continue to support them, including by urging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, which would provide $5 billion in assistance to state and local communities to create or save thousands of police and firefighter jobs.
The new Spanish-language PSAs will be airing in seven states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Watch the “If You See Something, Say Something™” PSAs in Spanish.
Janet Napolitano is the Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.