While hosting a series of active shooter training workshops in Kansas, we met School Safety Specialist John Calvert. Calvert and his team recently created a Suspicious Activity Report tool for concerned citizens in Kansas. Citizens can submit suspicious activity reports online anonymously, or by providing law enforcement with their contact information.
Why Report Suspicious Activity?
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says, “Prompt and detailed reporting of suspicious activity may prevent violent crimes or terrorist attacks. It is the responsibility of each of us to assist law enforcement in keeping our communities safe by reporting suspicious behavior.”
Why a citizen might report Suspicious Activity:
There is an expressed threat to commit a crime
Threats of violence, and/or communicated or displayed intent to cause harm to another person or persons
Threats against schools, facilities, or events
Surveillance of facilities or people
The discovery of a gathering of weapons, chemicals, explosives, or electronic devices
Attempts to enter restricted areas, test security systems, or tamper with a secure site
Signs of human trafficking indicating a person is not free to leave
Signs of drug activity such as recurring, brief visits to and from a property
If You See Something, Say Something
At The Institute For Childhood Preparedness, we reinforce the importance of see something, say something, which is the reporting of suspicious activity to local authorities, or by calling 9-1-1- for immediate assistance. The Department of Homeland Security says, “We go to work or school, the grocery store, or the gas station. It's easy to overlook these routine moments, but as you’re going about your day, if you see something that doesn't seem quite right, say something. By being alert and reporting suspicious activity to your local law enforcement, you can protect your family, neighbors, and community.”
However, we often find that citizens feel too embarrassed to say something. They falsely believe that if a reported threat isn't viable, they’re wasting a police officer’s time. Local authorities will always take your concerns seriously, whether or not they turn out to be significant threats. If you’re on the fence about whether to report something suspicious, always err on the side of caution. Just remember: your phone call might save a life.
Reporting a Potential Active Shooter Situation
Active shooters tend to target vulnerable, unprotected groups. With 60% of children under the age of 5 spending time in a child care setting each week, it’s now more important than ever to keep a close watch on young children and to ensure their safety.
Childcare providers can also keep children safe by ALWAYS locking outside doors, and never propping doors open for any reason. Also, be alert for suspicious individuals who may repeatedly case your facility.
Report suspicious behavior in Kansas: http://www.accesskansas.org/kbi/crimereportmappage.shtml --You can also report suspicious behavior on the Kansas State Department of Education website: https://www.ksde.org/Kansas-Safe-Schools.
If you are out of the state of Kansas, there are many local and national reporting avenues which can be used by toll free phone calls, websites and mobile phone apps. The FBI, several local police agencies, and school districts (such as the SAY SOMETHING ANONYMOUS REPORTING SYSTEM developed by the SANDY HOOK PROMISE) are all sources of anonymous reporting.
The Institute For Childhood Preparedness has over 25 years of experience in law enforcement, security, public health, and emergency management. You don’t always know how vulnerable your childcare facility is. That’s why you should schedule a site safety survey and risk management session with us today: www.childhoodpreparedness.org/training.