Know What to Look For
See our suspicious behavior chart below and don't forget to check out the Department of Homeland Security's If You See Something, Say Something website.
Be Aware of Suspicious Behavior
- Surveillance: video recording, monitoring, taking notes
- Suspicious Questioning: attempting to gain information in-person, by phone, mail, or email
- Acquiring Supplies: attempting to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunition, dangerous chemicals, uniforms, badges, access cards, etc.
- "Dry Runs": behavior that appears to be in preparation for a terrorist act
- Deploying Assets: abandoned vehicles, stockpiling of suspicious materials, or persons
- Suspicious Persons: anyone who does not appear to belong in the workplace, neighborhood or business establishment
What can you do to help fight terrorism?
Homeland Security depends on information getting to the right people at the right time.
It is very difficult for Cobb County’s law enforcement agencies to have a presence throughout all of Cobb County at all times due to our population and size. This is why it is important for you to be a vital part of our homeland security efforts.
No one knows what is suspicious or out-of-place in your community or workplace better than you. Your eyes and ears are the crucial source of information that guides our law enforcement efforts in thwarting the terrorists’ efforts.
This guide will help you recognize suspicious activity that could be the prelude to a terrorist attack and ensure that your information gets to the right people at the right time.
If you observe suspicious activity that requires immediate response, you should contact Cobb County 911. If you have information about suspicious activity which is no longer in progress, you should call the Cobb County Homeland Security 24-Hour Tip Hotline. Your identity will be kept confidential.
Here is some helpful information when reporting suspicious activity:
- Hair color
- Facial Hair
- License plate #
- Window/Bumper sticker
- Other Markings
Report Suspicious Activity
We ask residents to be aware of their surroundings and any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and workplace.
We recommend that citizens take the following measures:
Who should you call to make a report?
Take the time to look up your local emergency numbers and write them down next to your phone. To report suspicious activity, call 911, your local police department, or the nearest GBI or FBI Office. The Cobb County Department of Public Safety non-emergency number at (770) 499-3900.
Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) is Georgia’s coordination center for the federal, local, and private sector partners necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters. GEMA can receive suspicious activity reports through the “See Something, Send Something” app on your smartphone. If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
What is suspicious activity?
Citizens could observe various actions, statements, associations, timing, or patterns of activity that may create suspicions of illegal conduct in their community. No one has a better perspective about what is defined as “normal” activity in the communities than the people who live there. Law Enforcement has always relied upon the commonsense perceptions of Cobb citizens who notice something or someone that appears suspicious or out of place. Participating in Cobb's Homeland Security is just like taking part in your local Neighborhood watch; only much more is at stake.
When under High Alert, the Cobb County Department of Public Safety has increased security at key county facilities. Access will be restricted at some facilities, and unescorted visitors will not be permitted.
- Familiarize yourselves with buildings you frequent, prepare a disaster kit, and report any suspicious activity to the police departments by calling 911 or the Cobb County Department of Public Safety non-emergency number at (770) 499-3900.
- Have alternate routes to get to and from work and to pick your kids up from school, daycare, and after-school activities.
Active Shooter - Run, Hide and Fight
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims to enhance preparedness through a ”whole community” approach by providing training, products, and resources to a broad range of stakeholders on issues such as active shooter awareness, incident response, and workplace violence.
In many cases, there is no pattern or method to the selection of victims by an active shooter, and these situations are, by their very nature, unpredictable and evolve quickly.
How to Respond When an Active Shooter Is in Your Vicinity
Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Remember that customers and clients are likely to follow the lead of employees and managers during an active shooter situation.
If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
- Have an escape route and plan in mind
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
- Leave your belongings behind
- Help others escape, if possible
- Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
- Keep your hands visible
- Follow the instructions of any police officers
- Do not attempt to move wounded people
- Call 911 when you are safe
If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.
Your hiding place should:
- Be out of the active shooter's view
- Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (ie. an office with a closed and locked door)
- Not trap you or restrict your options for movement
To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
- Lock the door
- Blockage the door with heavy furniture
If the active shooter is nearby:
- Lock the door
- Silence your cell phone and/or pager
- Turn off any source of noise (ie. radios, television)
- Hide behind large items (ie. cabinets, desks)
- Remain quiet
If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:
- Remain calm
- Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to active shooter's location
- If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
- Acting aggressively as possible against him/her
- Throwing items and improvising weapons
- Committing to your actions