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See Something Say Something goes to Wal-Mart

More than 230 Walmart stores nationwide launched the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign today, with a total of 588 Walmart stores in 27 states joining in the coming weeks. A short video message will play at select checkout locations to remind shoppers to contact local law enforcement to report suspicious activity.

DHS Secretary Napolitano encourages you to say something to local police or a Walmart manager if you notice anything unusual while at Walmart. This is a continuation of the larger "See Something, Say Something" campaign designed to help report suspicious activity.

Although not an entirely bad idea, the statistics have yet to prove it worth.

I'm also a bit sceptical that running to the local Walmart manager is the best practice for reporting potential terrorist activity. Further, the campaign has yet to be proven as anything effective...check out this New York Times report.

Here's a quote from MJ Blog "See Something, Say Something" posted in September, 2010:
"Another problem is that people simply don't know what they are looking for. We, as emergency managers and planners have not done a good job at educating the public...or, is it that we simply don't want to share information? The result is failure for this See Something, Say Something campaign. Without an idea of what to look for, we'll get little if any useful information."

Let me add to that: Each report, while it may or may not result in useful information, will require law enforcement to expend resources to investigate.

We also discussed this topic on the podcast edition #202.
Click on the player below to hear my comments:

DHS video shown at Wal-Mart can be seen on the DHS Press Release (

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