NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 1, 2022) – Antiterrorism Month is over, but remaining vigilant must continue throughout the year to protect important infrastructure projects and recreation facilities, and to safeguard employees and visitors at Corps Lakes.
Nashville District is host to more than 21 million visitors each year to its 10 dam projects and lakes, 273 recreation areas, 108 playgrounds, 72 swim areas, 104 hiking trails, 108 picnic sites, 25 campgrounds and 3,203 campsites in the Cumberland River Basin.
Jay Klinger, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District chief of Security, Force Protection and Antiterrorism, said those facilities cover a lot of ground, so it is everyone’s responsibility to report suspicious activity and provide specific details, which can be helpful during an investigation.
Klinger said employees and the public have a critical role to play when they see something that doesn’t look right, which is a driver of the iWATCH Army slogan, “See Something, Say Something.”
“A small occurrence may seem insignificant at a specific site or from the perspective of the observer, but may be a small piece of a puzzle needed to identify a larger threat,” Klinger said. “Keep it in mind that pieces of information provide clues of threats that violent extremists or criminals may pose. It’s just important to report those pieces.”
Antiterrorism Awareness iWATCH Army is a modern version of neighborhood watch focused on the threat of terrorist activity. It is modeled after the Los Angeles Police Department’s iWATCH Program. The program encourages and empowers the Army community to identify and report suspicious behavior potentially associated with terrorist activity to military police or local law enforcement for investigation.
Lt. Col. Joseph Sahl, Nashville District commander, said making the Army aware of possible indicators of terrorist activity can potentially help protect communities and infrastructure like the locks, dams, power plants, and even the recreation facilities the public enjoys.
“The Army needs your help to be on the lookout when something doesn’t seem right. It’s important to be aware of what is going on around you to prevent criminal and terrorist activities,” Sahl said.
Indicators of suspicious activity may include people drawing or measuring important buildings; strangers asking questions about security, procedures, blueprints or schedules; leaving a vehicle parked in a no-parking zone near an important building; intruders accessing secure areas; or someone leaving behind a briefcase, suitcase, backpack or package.
Klinger said anyone that may be second guessing whether or not to make a report should go ahead and make the call and let law enforcement decide if it is a credible threat.
If there is an ongoing emergency, Klinger said it’s important to call local law enforcement to report an incident. However, suspicious activities can be reported through iWATCH.
In Tennessee, a person can visit https://www.tn.gov/safety/homeland-security/report-suspicious-activity.html or call 877-250-2333 to report suspicious behavior. In Kentucky a person can visit https://homelandsecurity.ky.gov/Pages/Report-Suspicious-Activity.aspx or call 866-393-6659. In Alabama a person can visit https://app.alea.gov/SAR/ or call 800-392-8011. Employees are encouraged to also make reports through the chain of command.
Klinger recommends being very specific when making a report, and provide photos if any were taken. It’s important to note when and where the suspicious activity occurred, how many people were involved to include their descriptions, how many vehicles were involved, and the activities witnessed, he said.
For more information about the US Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, visit the district’s website at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.