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iWATCH promotes awareness effort

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Published: July 17, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 17, 2014) -- When it comes to the safety and security of people on Fort Rucker, law enforcement can only do so much, so one program encourages people to keep a watchful eye for suspicious activity.

iWATCH Army is an antiterrorism program that’s focuses on encouraging Army-wide community awareness and outreach efforts to address important topics related to protecting communities, not just from terrorist acts, but all crime, said Cory Greenawalt, the Fort Rucker Training and Doctrine Command antiterrorism officer.

“iWATCH Army is a community program to help your neighborhood stay safe from terrorist activities (and crime),” he said. “People and their fellow Army community members can report behaviors and activities that make them feel uncomfortable or just don’t look right.”

Greenawalt said people on the installation need to remain vigilant because it’s up to everyone to keep Fort Rucker safe.

“Parents need to talk to their children about this, as well,” he said. “Although school is out, there are plenty of summertime activities that go on throughout the installation, so people need to watch out for suspicious behavior everywhere,” adding that parents can find information papers for themselves and teenagers on the iWatch website.

There are a number of different reasons to report suspicious activity, but Greenawalt said that keeping the installation safe is first and foremost. It’s people’s awareness that can help predict and prevent attacks before they happen, he added.

“Our law enforcement is the reactionary force to (reported activities), but they need more eyes and ears out there to help them – every person a sensor” said the antiterrorism officer. “(Authorities) can’t be everywhere at once.

“We’re here to protect our country and our neighborhoods,” Greenawalt continued. “We’re the frontline of defense and then we call the proper authorities to take care of the issue. We see it, we report it, and we get the experts and the professionals to deal with it. That is how we protect ourselves.”

Some things people should look out for include: people drawing or measuring important buildings; strangers asking questions about security forces or security procedures; briefcases, suitcases, backpacks or any packages left unattended; cars or trucks left in no-parking zones in front of important buildings; intruders in secure areas; persons wearing clothes that are too big or bulky, or too hot for the weather; and even chemical smells or fumes that don’t seem right.

“People need to trust their instincts,” said Greenawalt. “We rely on our senses every day of our lives. If a behavior or activity makes you feel uncomfortable, report it.”

When people report an incident, they should try to give as many details as possible. Greenawalt provided a checklist that people can use to make sure they get the necessary information: date and time; where it happened; what they witnessed; description of people involved including gender, height, build, ethnicity, hair color and age; and license plate numbers if available.

Greenawalt also advises people not to get directly involved unless there is an immediate threat or if it’s the only action available, and for them to allow the proper authorities to handle the situation.

He also advises that people share information regarding iWATCH Army to everyone they know.

“Everyone needs to get this kind of information out to their neighbors,” said Greenawalt. “This is not the kind of information that should be kept to themselves, but shared with the world. We strongly encourage people to share this information with each other so that they know what to do if they see something out of the ordinary.”

Greenawalt also stressed that 911 should only be called for emergency situations, but people can call the non-emergency line at 255-2222 to report any suspicious activities.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/130110/

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