Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today met with Jewish community leaders from across the nation at the White House to underscore the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) commitment to partnering with faith-based communities to prevent, prepare for and respond to threats and announce the expansion of DHS’ “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Security Community Network (SCN).
More after the jump.
“Homeland security begins with hometown security, and our nation’s faith-based organizations play a critical role in keeping our communities safe,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Expanding the ‘If You See Something, Say Something™’ campaign to national Jewish groups, the first faith-based partnership for the campaign, is an important step in the Department’s ongoing effort to engage the American public in our nation’s security efforts.”
In the meeting, Secretary Napolitano joined White House Office of Public Engagement Director John Carson to highlight the vital role of faith-based leadership in providing guidance and assistance to their organizations and institutions regarding ways to protect against terrorism and other threats. The launch of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America and SCN will feature print and social media materials distributed to the thousands of centers and organizations that the associations reach.
“The American Jewish community and the places we gather are, unfortunately, often targets for terrorists,” said Jerry Silverman, President and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America. “This new partnership with the Department of Homeland Security will empower us to counter this threat as we become more actively involved in our own protection.”
Secretary Napolitano also highlighted the Department’s continued efforts to strengthen collaboration with members of the Jewish community through platforms such as SCN-a mechanism for information sharing with faith- and community-based organizations designed to quickly improve overall security awareness in a crisis situation-and discussed ways to expand and enhance current initiatives and partnerships.
The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign-originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and now licensed to DHS for a nationwide campaign-is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.
Partnerships with the “If You See Something, Say Something ™” campaign have recently been launched with the Indianapolis 500, Washington State Ferries, the City of Los Angeles, AEG Worldwide, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL), as well as in Colorado, Minnesota and New Jersey, more than 9,000 federal buildings nationwide, Walmart, Mall of America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the general aviation industry, and state and local fusion centers across the country. Secretary Napolitano also previously released an “If You See Something, Say Something ™” public awareness video, available here.
In the coming months, DHS will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something ™” campaign nationally to help America’s business, communities and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the country safe.