Service Before Self, Honor Above All

Terrorism Awareness

We have enjoyed historic reductions in crime by identifying and addressing criminal behavior, not by targeting individuals. We will be successful in detecting, deterring, and preventing organized criminal activity and preventing future terrorist attacks by continuing to build upon our successful partnership and employing the same standard.

Click here for information on Suspicious Activities Reporting (SAR)

Describing Possible Incidents

When recording the essential details utilize the following guide:

    • Who did I observe?
    • What specifically did I see?
    • Where did I observe the suspicious behavior?
    • When did I observe the suspicious behavior?
    • Why do I think the behavior is suspicious?

There are three elements in reporting a description to the police:

    • Accuracy (most important)
    • Speed
    • Completeness

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 and 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.
    • Encourage the involvement of family, friends, and neighbors.
    • Assume responsibility to observe and report activities that appear out of place or unusual.

Suspicious Activity

In the event you become aware of suspicious activity:

    • Do not take direct action;
    • Do not confront the individual; or
    • Do not reveal your suspicions.
    • Do record as many details as possible; and
    • Do notify the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.

Ways to Improve Observation Skills

    • Employ good listening skills
    • Do not let personal feelings interfere with the incident
    • Look at the entire situation before making a judgment
    • Watch for non-verbal communication signs
    • Use feedback to obtain and verify information and observations
    • Observe and report
    • Do not become personally involved

Organized crime and potential Terror planning Indicators

    • Terrorists are trained to “blend in” and assimilate to their surroundings.
    • Most terrorist acts are well organized and well planned. Terrorists will conduct training, surveillance, and “dry runs” prior to the commission of a terrorist act.
    • They like to strike at government and civilian targets in an effort to instill fear.
    • Unusual or extended interest in public utilities, large public gatherings, transportation centers, government buildings and other possible terrorist targets.
    • Unusual requests for information, particularly about security or procedures for at-risk buildings.
    • Suspects may possess Forged, Altered or Stolen Identifications
    • May try to have a “cover story” or appear ‘normal’ in their behavior such as portraying a student or tourist
    • Identity Documents may be in various names
    • May carry and use large amounts of cash
    • Unusual rentals, purchases, deliveries, or thefts, particularly of poisonous or flammable chemicals, explosives, weapons or vehicles (including planes or boats).
    • Multiple sightings of the same suspicious person, vehicle, or activity.
    • Individuals sitting in a parked car for an extended period of time.
    • Individuals who don’t fit into the surrounding environment because they are wearing improper attire for the location or season.
    • Individuals drawing pictures or taking notes of an area not normally of interest to tourists or showing interest in or photographing security cameras, guard locations, or watching security procedures.
    • Someone engaging in photography of something not normally a tourist attraction such as a bridge or dam, power plant or electrical facility.
    • Loitering around potential target with no apparent or valid reason
    • Testing security by breaching restricted areas to determine response
    • Tampering with electrical, water, gas, or sewer systems
    • Criminals and Terrorists may conduct training, surveillance and “dry runs” prior to an act.


Ironically, though the terrorist acts in an attempt to instill fear in you, it is you that the terrorist fears most.


How You Can Assist the Police Department in Countering organized crime and terror planning.

The security of our city depends greatly on citizen involvement. No police department can effectively protect life and property without the support and cooperation of the citizens it serves.
The Police Department and the City of Arlington need your help to assist us in countering terrorism. We ask you to be our eyes and ears.Become involved in a Community Watch Organization. Neighbors work together with police and other emergency personnel, observing and reporting incidents, conditions and crimes in their neighborhood. Click here to learn more about Community Watch groups.

Get to know your beat officers.