David Sobczyk's picture

Suspicious Activity Reporting Training Improves, Expands to New Audiences

Training is essential to the adoption of any new concept, process, or capability – but only if it’s working. Recently, the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) measured the impact of their SAR Line Officer Training on a variety of stakeholders.

The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) is a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners. The NSI helps prevent terrorism and other related criminal activity by establishing a national capacity for gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing SAR information.

Initially, the training was just for line officers. It occurred to NSI leadership that the training, while targeted at line officers, would be helpful if adapted to other sectors that play a role in SAR. So, they developed similar training for 911 call operators, fire and EMS, emergency managers, and others. 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. The multi-faceted approach of providing training for a variety of sectors is intended to be more effective than solely training line officers.

Recently, NSI conducted surveys to find out whether or not the training was having an impact. Some of the results:

  • 82% reported the training enhanced their ability to identify terrorism-related activity
  • 85% reported the training provided sufficient information about the protection of privacy and civil liberties when reporting suspicious activity
  • 78% reported an overall improvement in their knowledge, skills, and abilities to prevent terrorism and other related criminal activity

Congrats to the NSI team on a successful program!

Did you take the training? Let us know what you thought by leaving a comment on this blog post.

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