Coast residents react to campaign encouraging reports of suspici - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coast residents react to campaign encouraging reports of suspicious activity

The Department of Homeland Security initiated the "If you see something, say something" campaign five years ago. (Photo source: WLOX) The Department of Homeland Security initiated the "If you see something, say something" campaign five years ago. (Photo source: WLOX)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

Would you feel comfortable reporting suspicious activity in your community?

If something seems out of place in your community, the Department of Homeland Security wants you to say something. To do that, the department initiated the "If you see something, say something" campaign five years ago.

Gov. Phil Bryant held a special news conference Monday to discuss what that should mean to Mississippians. Coast residents have varying opinions on the topic.

"I would find it not respectable not to report it," said Euraina Branch.

For Branch, the possibility of offending someone by reporting them isn't something that would keep her from alerting authorities if something seemed off.

"It wouldn't matter. I would report it," said Branch.

That's not the approach Carl Lizana takes on the matter.

"I say mind your own business," said Lizana.

He thinks it would be overboard to report everything that seemed out of the ordinary.

Reports out of San Bernardino, CA, have indicated that the attackers were displaying signs of strange activity prior to the attack. Lizana said he can't see what would have justified a report.

"Just because someone's working in the garage, what the heck would they report," said Lizana.

Others said it's important to keep a watchful eye for anything unusual, but unusual is not easy to define.

"That would be pretty hard to describe. It would be the situation at the time, the location, any number of factors," said John Kelley.

Some might say that unusual would be anything out of the norm, but Kelley said even that definition has holes.

"What's normal? That depends on the individual," said Kelley.

Gerald Dean agrees. He said he'll know suspicious activity if he sees it. What is important, according to Dean, is making sure you know your neighbors.

"You've got to get involved. You say you ain’t involved, it ain't in your neighborhood. It could be," said Dean.

Dean believes you never know who could be living next door or even several streets away, but he said it's your job as a citizen to remain on guard.

"I call that part of taking care of home," said Dean.

According to police, calls with tips and reports of unusual activity can be made anonymously.

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