2013-04-26 / Spectrum

A time for vigilance in our community

At 5:20 p.m., April 18, the FBI released photos of the two suspects in the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Within minutes, the FBI was reporting record traffic on its web site. The public had come to help.

By 1 a.m., one of the suspects was dead following a shootout with police, and law enforcement was beginning to tighten its dragnet around the second. About 20 hours later, the second suspect was in custody.

An amazing effort on the part of local and federal law enforcement authorities resulted in what seems an almost unimaginably quick response and identification of the two suspects; they no longer pose a threat to us. But there is no doubt that an alert, motivated public response made the difference.

The amount of traffic on the FBI website paralyzed the server for a short while. Thousands of tips poured in. Amateur photographers at the scene sent additional photos. And an alert local citizen spotted and reported the blood trail that led to the boat in which the second suspect took refuge – and in which he was arrested.

Simply put, the American people saw something, and they said something. The results speak for themselves.

Installation anti-terrorism officials and law enforcement authorities across the Army have been asking for their military communities to do just that – report suspicious activity. The aftermath of last week’s tragedy in Boston, and the successful apprehension of the last bombing suspect, show us that it works.

We live in an uncertain time. Bombers attacked a sporting event in Boston. Letters containing the poison ricin were sent to the President of the United States, a U.S. senator, and a judge. And day-to-day criminal acts, large and small, occur in our cities and towns.

This is a time to be vigilant, and you can help.

If you observe conduct or activity that seems wrong, out of place or threatening, tell someone. Call the Military Police Desk at (706) 791-4380 to report what you’ve seen. Or, you can submit an iSalute report by visiting https://www.inscom.army.mil/isalute/default. aspx. What you report may turn out to be nothing. But unless you report it, how will we ever know.

Be aware of your surroundings. Be vigilant. And be involved in the security and safety of your community.

If you see something, say something.

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