Help keep Ohioans safe: See something, say something


n response to Monday's events at the Boston Marathon, security officials across Ohio are urging the public to be aware of their surroundings.

Ohio Homeland Security (OHS) offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus are working closely with federal authorities to monitor security and safety all Ohioans in the wake of the Boston bombings. Any information that could affect the welfare of Ohioans will be shared with authorities and the general public.

The Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon will go on as planned, Sunday, April 28 at the University of Toledo. Race director, Clint McCormick, says runners and organizers are "appalled at the senseless violence" at the finish line of the Boston Marathon; and, security for Toledo's marathon continues to be a priority. "runner and spectator safety is always a top priority for any marathon, and that will be the case for the 2013 Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon April 28. Our race security is a coordinated effort among the police forces of the City of Toledo, Ottawa Hills, Sylvania Township, City of Sylvania and the University of Toledo."

In addition to best laid plans, one of our best defenses against terrorist threats is when members of the public report suspicious activity. According to the OHS, on a daily basis, members of the public work with law enforcement to help keep our communities safe by reporting activities they see as out of the ordinary and suspicious. Authorities say these reports, often times seemingly worthless, play a pivotal role in fighting terror and crime.

Residents are urged to report any unusual activity that should cause a heightened sense of suspicion, such as:

Personnel or vehicles entering/leaving facilities or parking area; burns on body, missing finger(s) or hand, bloody clothing, bleached body hair or bright-colored stains on clothing;

Switch wires concealed in hand, clothing or backpack;

Unusual or prolonged interest in security measures or personnel, security cameras, entry points and access controls, perimeter barriers, unattended train or bus;

Purposely placing objects in sensitive or vulnerable areas;

Individuals or actions that are out of place for their surroundings (over or undressing for the weather);

Vague or cryptic threats, warnings, or comments about harming others.

If you see something, say something. Contact Ohio Homeland Security at 1-877-OHS-INTEL, or call 911 in an emergency.