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Homeland Security

Gwinnett County is an international community, and while diversity enriches us, it also provides members of terrorist cells the opportunity to easily blend in with everyone else.

There are two types of terrorism in the United States: Domestic and International. Both are a danger to everyone, and effectively combating terrorism in all its forms requires everyone's help. Your eyes and ears play a crucial role in Gwinnett County's efforts to keep our community safe.

Stay vigilant and prepared. If you see something and it concerns you, report it to the Gwinnett County Police Department, no matter how small of a thing it may seem to be. Remember, homeland security starts with you!

What exactly constitutes suspicious behavior? Unusual or suspicious activity takes many forms and usually involves a combination of actions. Many situations reported to the police do not involve criminal activity, but instead indicate the potential for criminal or terrorist planning or surveillance. The New York State Police developed the "Seven Signs of Terrorism" list:

Know the Seven Signs of Terrorism

  1. Surveillance: Recording or monitoring activities, taking pictures, making drawings
  2. Suspicious Questioning: Attempts to gain information about operations, staffing, and security
  3. Tests of Security: Any attempts to measure reacting times to entering restricted areas
  4. Acquiring Supplies: Obtaining explosives, weapons, uniforms, badges, credentials, etc.
  5. Suspicious Persons Out of Place: This may include people who are in places they should not be, as well as people who do not fit in to the daily routine of your neighborhood or community
  6. Dry or Trial Run: Putting people into position and moving them around without actually committing a terrorist act
  7. Deploying Assets: People and supplies getting into position to commit the act

Early recognition and reporting of potential terrorist activity is the first line of defense against those who intend to harm the citizens of Gwinnett County and its assets.

If you observe suspicious activity:

  1. Do not take direct action
  2. Do not confront the individual
  3. Do not reveal your suspicions
  4. Do record as many details as possible
  5. Do notify appropriate authorities as soon as possible

Describing suspicious behavior:

  1. Who did you observe?
  2. What did you see?
  3. Where did you see it?
  4. When did you see it?
  5. Why is it suspicious?

Specific activity to look for:

  1. Unattended packages
  2. Suspicious carry-on items such as large backpacks, gym bags, and luggage weighed more than normal
  3. Videotaping of mass transit equipment, transportation facilities, security procedures and infrastructure. Deliberate recording and/or sketching of mass transit operations
  4. Suspicious activity of loitering around transportation facilities. Consecutive round trips on the same transit route
  5. Individuals walking around the facility, independent of each other, taking notes ostensibly on operations and meeting as a group after their observations are recorded to compare notes
  6. An individual who seems unaware of his/her surroundings and is fixated on a particular object or location
  7. Evasive answers to common questions regarding destinations; deliberate attempts to avoid contact with others or to draw attention
  8. Loose fitting clothing, large sweatshirt, vest, or jacket in hot weather conditions. Clothing that is disproportionate to the body type of the person
  9. Questioning of crew members regarding schedules, passenger capacities, onboard safety procedures and equipment
  10. Attempts to abandon a vehicle in or near a transit parking facility
  11. Placing backpacks or suitcases in a different compartment than the one being occupied
  12. Leaving bags unattended in public areas to observe security response procedures and times
  13. Attempting to gain employment with a mass transit system without the appropriate background and/or qualifications

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) funded the State and Local Anti- Terrorism Training Program (SLATT). As a result of this effort the following Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities were developed:

  1. Bulk Fuel Distributors
  2. Construction Sites
  3. Dive/boat Shops
  4. Farm Supply Stores
  5. Financial Institutions
  6. General Aviation Airports
  7. Hobby Shops
  8. Home Improvement and Large Retail Stores
  9. Hotels and motels
  10. Peroxide-based Explosives
  11. Rental Cars
  12. Rental Properties
  13. Rental Trucks
  14. Shopping Malls and Centers
  15. Storage Facilities

The Gwinnett County Police Department is concerned about possible Terrorism or Terrorist related activities and works with the Joint Terrorism Task Force to address concerns. We encourage citizens to report any suspicious activities to one of the following:

  • If you believe the threat is immediate, call 911

    Other resources include:

    Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA)

Once you go to this site there is a red button marked "Report Suspicious Activity." You will be able to report suspicious activity directly to the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC). Remember if you believe there is an immediate threat call 911.

National Terrorism Advisory System

The National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) is a system used by the United States Department of Homeland Security to effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector. 

 Types of NTAS Alerts:

A. Imminent Threat Alert: Warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.

B. Elevated Threat Alert: Warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States.

These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an imminent threat or elevated threat. Using available information, the alerts will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals, communities, businesses and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat. 

The NTAS Alerts will be based on the nature of the threat: in some cases, alerts will be sent directly to law enforcement or affected area of the private sector, while in others, alerts will be issued more broadly to the American people through both official and media channels. NTAS Alerts will only be issued when credible information is available.