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SAR of a different type: Suspicious Activity Reporting Online Training

Author: Randall D. Larson

Copyright: 9-1-1 Magazine, Feature Content

Date: 2015-08-28
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Prompted by a story in Emergency Management online by Eric Holdeman

The security mindset dominates the maritime domain, partly because of the mandate that ports and other maritime facilities conform with U.S. Coast Guard regulations.  

In the emergency management community, of course, the acronym "SAR" refers to Search And Rescue. The Coast Guard performs this function extensively on the water, serving essentially as the nation’s coastal first responder for off-shore Search And Rescue emergencies, but there is another kind of SAR in the world of homeland security, and this Suspicious Activity Reporting.

The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) is a joint collaborative effort by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners. This initiative provides law enforcement with another tool to help prevent terrorism and other related criminal activity by establishing a national capacity for gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing SAR information.

The NSI is a standardized process - including stakeholder outreach, privacy protections, training, and facilitation of technology - for identifying and reporting suspicious activity in jurisdictions across the country and also serves as the unified focal point for sharing SAR information.

Online SAR Training for Law Enforcement and Hometown Security Partners

The Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Maritime Training was developed to assist maritime personnel in recognizing what kinds of suspicious behaviors are associated with pre-incident terrorism activities, understanding how and where to report suspicious activity, and protecting privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties when documenting information. This training also provides information about integrating the Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI) into your agency's operations.

The NSI training strategy is a multifaceted approach designed to increase the effectiveness of state, local, and tribal law enforcement and public safety professionals and other frontline partners in identifying, reporting, evaluating, and sharing pre-incident terrorism indicators to prevent acts of terrorism. To increase the effectiveness of this multifaceted approach, the NSI has developed training programs for frontline officers and hometown security partners regarding documented and verified behaviors and indicators that, when viewed in the context of all known facts and circumstances, may indicate terrorism-related criminal activity. Both the SAR Line Officer Training and each sector-specific SAR Hometown Security Partners Training discuss how to report identified suspicious activity to the proper authorities while maintaining the protection of citizens' privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.  Sectors include fire/EMS, Probation/Parole/Corrections, Public Safety Telecommunications (9-1-1), Emergency Management, Maritime, Public Health and Health Care Partners, and Private Sector Security.

Click the image below to access the NSI web page, and then click on the link to the appropriate sector in which you are associated.  The online course should take less than 30 minutes to complete.  A certificate of completion will be provided.  

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via NSI, 8/26/15)

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