CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A well worn phrase these days is “see something, say something.”
It is good advice, but Crime Stoppers is taking a bit of a different approach.
“If you suspect something, say something.” It is their approach to help fight terrorist attacks on unsuspecting people.
There are lots of summer happenings in and around Cleveland. East 4th Street is a perfect example on weekends, or before an Indians game. The sad truth is if people at the events are in danger or targets they don’t know it.
They lack what Detective Richard McIntosh says is situational awareness.
“They focus on the stage, they focus on the bars, they focus on people walking as opposed to recognizing that there could be some dangers out there.” explained McIntosh.
In the wake of brutal attacks, we often ask what can I do? Most of us are not like the firefighter in Missouri who intervened when a gunman walked into a Walmart.
Our roles are to get our suspicions to police.
“We always hear that friends, people in the neighborhood knew that this guy was gonna do something. Look at Dayton. Everybody says we knew this guy was going to do something. He had hit lists but nobody reported it.” is how the detective describes what police are looking to learn before something happens.
Dayton police were nearby the deadly attack and neutralized the threat in seconds, but not before 9 lives were lost. A good place for people to scan are social media sites.
“Generally somebody knows when they’re online, on their Facebook accounts or web pages and they’re talking about terrorism where they’re talking about shooting someone.” according to McIntosh.
The goal is simple, arm the police who are armed with information. In McIntosh’s view “Like I always say, one way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”