DES MOINES, Iowa -- In light of last week's shooting in Florida, Governor Kim Reynolds is calling on all Iowans to participate in the suspicious activity reporting campaign known as “If you see something, say something.”
“Last weeks shooting in Parkland, Florida was certainly a sad reminder that reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement is a key factor in trying to protect all of our children and our communities,” Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan.
The Iowa Department of Education is already implementing the campaign in schools.
“They’ve taken the if you see something say something message and put it directly to students, school staff and faculty. The department along with the Iowa School Safety Alliance are already working at the classroom level to encourage students to give them that level of comfort so that if they do see something out of the ordinary they feel comfortable reporting that to an administrator or even a teacher,” Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Legislative Liaison John Benson said.
The Des Moines Public School district is trying out the campaign in a creative way at Lincoln High School.
“In fact one of our high schools has is piloting a program that where students know about some sort of criminal activity or something that might happen they can report it anonymously via and app and there's even a financial incentive if it leads to preventing a crime or solving a crime, things like that,” DMPS Director of Communications and Affairs Phil Roeder said.
Ryan said they want the community to tell police about things like:
- Specific threats
- Large purchases of ammunition or materials used to make explosives
- Vehicles or items that are out of place that could contain explosives
Reynolds said the root of the issue behind mass shootings is not just about guns.
“I just don’t think there’s one solution as we take a look at making sure we are doing everything we can to keep people safe we have to look at it in a holistic manner so that means taking a look at see something say something, that means being familiar with our surroundings that means that we are making sure we are addressing mental health concerns,” reynolds said.
Reynolds said the weight of this issue is not all on the shoulders of the state and the public.
“The federal government has a role to play in this they need to look at what they can do strengthening background checks a big piece of this discussion lies with them and they need to take the responsibility to do some things as a state we will continue to take a look and review,” Reynolds said.
To learn more about the campaign go to SaySomething.Iowa.Gov.