Friday, July 1, the Oklahoma City Police Department announced a local and nationwide push to report suspicious activity. It's part of an effort to try to prevent terrorism and terror related crime.
The Oklahoma City Police Department has joined the, FBI, the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and Oklahoma Emergency Management, and other law enforcement agencies as part of the “If You See Something, Say Something” Campaign, and they're hoping the community will help be their eyes and ears.
“In order for us to be effective in stopping terrorism and preventing it before it occurs, and that's our goal, we have to have the assistance of the public” said Special Agent In Charge Scott Cruse with the Oklahoma City FBI office.
Cruse said they are seeing an unprecedented number of terrorist attacks around the country and the world - from the deadly shooting in Orlando last month, to the deadly attack at the airport in Istanbul, this week. And the director of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security says many of the most successful interventions of terrorist acts have been averted all because someone made a phone call.
“If you look across the most successful intervention of terrorist acts in this nation, it didn't start because of fine police work, it started because a citizen took the opportunity to call law enforcement to report their suspicions and then law enforcement could go do its job and stop something,” said Kim Carter, Director of Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security. “Remain aware of what's going around you, pay attention to what's going on and if something makes you feel uncomfortable, then report it.”
Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty said they increased security during Oklahoma City's Gay Pride weekend all because they were alerted by citizens to threats that were seen and heard locally and on social media.
“They were making noise and saying some threatening things,” said Chief Citty. “Hundreds and hundreds of potential terrorist acts across this country have been prevented because somebody's called in and said there's something wrong here.”
Chief Citty said he would always rather be safe than sorry and hopes the public feels the same way, especially in light of what happened in Oklahoma City 21 years ago.
“If you feel someone is stalking an area, or looking for an area over a period of time - or somebody is purchasing things that are abnormal, or they have stolen identifications someplace, call someone,” said Chief Citty. “It is a key ingredient in helping us fight terrorism and making sure this community doesn't experience some of the other things that go on across the country,”
Police have set up a non-emergency number that is manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It is (405) 231-2121.