If you see something, say something. . . .

Every day we hear the admonition that is borne of terror – “If you see something, say something.” It is that mantra that tells citizens to be aware of their surroundings — and to report anything that looks out of place.  I’ve been saying that for years — “Watch for Anomalies” (see 6/18/12).  But should we really “say something“?

First – “if you see something” it will likely be someone (or something) that looks “out of place.”  Someone who raises suspicion.  This in turn requires some level of “profiling” which we are told in the United States is politically incorrect and thus forbidden.  Though profiling is viewed in most countries as smart.  Remember the 14 year old boy in Dallas who came to school with a package filled with wires and containers.  Someone “said something.”  Police showed up and detained the boy.  Turned out the boy had a homemade clock.  The clock was examined and dismantled by a bomb squad. The boy – a Muslim – is now suing the Dallas school system for $15 million.  And he’s moved to Qatar.  Airlines who question or debark suspicious passengers are sued routinely.  Same with police.  By the usual and predictable coterie of loathsome plaintiff’s lawyers . . . .      

Maybe the lesson should be — “if you see something – run the other way.”  And leave others deal with the consequences.  Sergeant Schulz comes to mind “I know nothing!  I see nothing!”   

Watch for Anomalies

I have only repeated one post in 4+ years.  Here’s number 2 from June 18, 2012.  It has particular relevance today. 

When my daughter was young, I taught her a phrase – “watch for anomalies.” As a young girl growing up, I wanted her to be keenly aware of her surroundings. To know where the exits are in a restaurant, theater or other public place. And to always be aware of what doesn’t “look right.”   People.  Places.  Things.  Situational profiling.  Which is smart.  What looks out of place.   I cautioned her – if something doesn’t look right, get out.  Go the other way.

I have a feeling that my daughter at the age of 12 could “case” a room as well as anyone. Though today when I say “watch for anomalies,” she’ll usually respond “Oh dad. . . .”

I learned the expression years ago. As a State’s Attorney – working with police – I learned quickly that they watched carefully for anomalies. Situations that don’t look right. Things that look out of place or out of character.

Apart from teaching my granddaughters about music, the guitar, speaking Spanish, how to spit, hitting a golf ball, making spaghetti carbonara, playing poker, doing magic tricks, finding pennies on the street and so on, I want to teach them situational awareness.  And to “watch for anomalies.”

Watch for Anomalies

When my daughter was very young, I taught her a phrase – “watch for anomalies.”  As a young girl growing up, I wanted her to always be keenly aware of her surroundings.  To know where the exits are in a restaurant, theater or other public place.  And to always be aware of what doesn’t “look right.”  What looks out of place.  I frequently cautioned her – if something doesn’t look right, go the other way.   

I have a feeling that my daughter at the age of 12 could “case” a room as well as anyone.  Though today when I smile and say “watch for anomalies,” she’ll usually responds “Oh dad. . . .”  

I learned the expression years ago.  As a State’s Attorney – working with police – I learned quickly that they watched carefully for anomalies.  Situations that don’t look right.   Things that look out of place or out of character.  

Apart from teaching my granddaughter about music, the guitar, speaking Spanish, making Swedish pancakes, how to spit, playing golf, making spaghetti carbonara (see post of 7/27/11), playing poker, doing magic tricks, finding pennies on the street and so on, I will also teach her to know where the exits are and to “watch for anomalies.”