CITIZEN AWARENESS

See something? Say something.

The Village of Plainfield needs your eyes and ears! No one knows your neighborhood and local business better than you. You know what is out of place or seems 'off'. The safety and security of the Village of Plainfield depends greatly on citizen involvement. No Illinois law enforcement agency can effectively protect life and property without the support and cooperation of the citizens they serve. Reporting suspicious activity can help disrupt the criminal cycle. Reports can be made any time by dialing 9-1-1, or if the activity is no longer in progress, you can also come in to the Department in person, or submit an e-mail with information.

Tips on Giving A Description

For a Person:
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Age (approximate)
  • Height (approximate; use 2 inch blocks)
  • Weight (approximate; use 10 lb. blocks)
  • Build (medium, heavyset, thin, etc)
  • Hair (color, length, include facial hair)
  • Complexion (light, dark, ruddy, olive)
  • Eyes (color, glasses)
  • Peculiarities (scars, tattoos, missing limbs)
  • Clothing (from head to toe, style, defects)
  • Weapons (if any)
  • Method of escape (direction, vehicle, etc.)
For a Vehicle:
  • Year, Make, Model
  • Body Type (2 door, 4 door, van, SUV, etc.)
  • Passengers (number of people in vehicle)
  • License Plate (most important)
  • Damage or anything unusual (logos, etc.)

Community Support

We need you to remain alert and aware of everyday activities in your neighborhood and encourage the involvement of family, friends, and neighbors.

The Five W's

Be prepared to answer these questions when you report suspicious activity:
    What is happening?
    Who is doing it?
    Where is it taking place?
    When did you observe it?
    Why are you suspicious?

7 Signs of Terrorism

Terrorist operations begin with extensive planning. You can help prevent and detect terrorism - and other types of crimes - by watching out for suspicious activities and reporting them to the proper authorities. Terrorists are trained to "blend in" and assimilate to their surroundings. Typical patrols may miss something suspicious to you, because unfortunately, Officers don't know the daily routines of your area as well as you do; it's impossible. Most terrorist's acts are well organized and well planned. Terrorists will conduct training, surveillance and "dry runs" prior to commission of a terrorist act. Although it is the intent of the terrorist to instill fear in you, it is your vigilance that the terrorist fears most. No one knows your neighborhood and local business better than you.

1. Surveillance
If terrorists are targeting a specific area they will most likely be watching activities in the area during the planning phase of the operation. They will attempt to determine the target's strengths and weaknesses and the number of personnel that may respond to an incident. Routes to and from the target are usually established during the surveillance phase. Note suspicious actions such as someone using a camera (still or video), drawing diagrams or making notes on maps, using vision-enhancing devices, and having floor plans or blueprints of places such as high-tech firms, financial institutions, or government/military facilities.

2. Seeking Information
Terrorists often attempt to gain information about a target - a place, person or operation - through inquiries. These elicitation attempts can be made by mail, fax, phone or in person. Examples would be someone inquiring about critical infrastructure like a power plant or water treatment plant. Terrorists may attempt to research bridge and tunnel usage, make unusual inquiries concerning shipments or look into how a facility such as a hospital operates. They may also attempt to place "key" people in sensitive work locations to gain intelligence.

3. Tests of Security
"Probing" is a technique terrorists use to attempt to gather data about a target's security. These tests are usually conducted by driving past or even penetrating the target, moving into sensitive areas, and observing security or law enforcement response. Specific areas of interest to terrorists would include how long it takes security or law enforcement to respond to an incident, the number of responding personnel, or the routes taken to a specific location. Terrorist may also try to penetrate physical security barriers or test the response procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses. Vehicles may be parked for unusually long periods of time, sometimes in a no-parking area, as another test of security.

4. Acquiring Supplies
There may be a case where someone is purchasing or stealing explosives, weapons or ammunition. It could be the unusual purchase or storage of fertilizer or harmful chemicals. Terrorists would also find it useful to acquire law enforcement equipment and identification, military uniforms and decals, as well as flight passes, badges or even flight manuals. Terrorists often use false or stolen identification documents including passports and driver licenses. They may try to produce counterfeit identification by photocopying. Any of these items would make it easier to gain entrance to secured or prohibited areas.

5. Suspicious Behavior
Another pre-incident indicator is the presence of suspicious people who just don't belong. This could include individuals in a workplace, building, neighborhood or business establishment who do not fit in because of their demeanor or unusual questions they ask or statements they make. Being alert for people who "don't belong" doesn't mean we should profile individuals, but it does mean we should profile behaviors.

6. Trial Runs
Before an attack, terrorists will usually practice with a trial run to work out flaws in their plan and unanticipated problems. This is especially true when planning a kidnapping, but it can also pertain to bombings. A dry run may be the heart of the planning stage of a terrorist act. If you find someone monitoring a police radio frequency and recording emergency response times, you may be observing a dry run. Multiple dry runs may be conducted at or near the target to gain intelligence.

7. Getting Into Position
The final sign to look for is someone deploying assets or getting into position. This is your last chance to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs. Pre-incident indicators may come months or even years apart, so it is extremely important to document every fragment of information, no matter how insignificant it may appear, and forward this information to the proper authorities.

Additional Information

Department of Homeland Security
Illinois Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Bureau of Investigation