Terrorism Awareness for Citizens

The continued security of the Village of Skokie depends greatly on citizen involvement.  No Illinois law enforcement agency can effectively protect life and property without the support and cooperation of the citizens they serve.  The Skokie Police Department needs your help in preventing terrorism.  Much like the Neighborhood Watch program, the Police Department asks you to be our eyes and ears.  Reporting of suspicious activity can help disrupt the terrorist planning cycle.  Although it is the intent of the terrorist to instill fear in you, it is your vigilance that the terrorist fears most.  Reports can be made any any time by dialing 847/982-5900 or by email.

Suspicious Activity

In the event you become aware of suspicious activity, do not take direct action, confront the individual or reveal your suspicions.  Rather, record as many details as possible and notify the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.  There are three elements in reporting a description to the police: accuracy (most important), speed and completeness.  When recording the essential details, utilize the following guide:

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

The Skokie Police Department needs to you remain alert and be aware of everyday activities in your neighborhood.  Take notice of unusual behavior and report any unattended backpacks, suitcases or packages left in inappropriate locations.  Skokie Police also encourage the involvement of family, friends and neighbors.  Be aware of what is going on around you at home and while you are away.  Become involved in Neighborhood Watch - neighbors working together with police and other emergency personnel, observing and reporting incidents, conditions and crime in their neighborhoods.  Click here to learn more.  Also, take precautions when traveling.  Do not accept packages from strangers and do not leave luggage unattended.  It also is important to learn where emergency exits and stairways are located in your office and home and to think about how to evacuate a building or congested public area in a hurry. 

Tips on Giving a Description

For a person:

  • Sex
  • Race
  • Age (approximate)
  • Height (approximate)
  • Weight (approximate; use 10 pound increments)
  • Build (medium, heavy-set, thin, etc.)
  • Hair (color, length, include facial hair)
  • Complexion (light, dark, ruddy, olive, etc.)
  • Eyes (color, glasses)
  • Peculiarities (scars, tattoos, etc.)
  • Clothing (from head to toe, style, defects, etc.)
  • Weapons (if any)
  • Method of travel (direction ,vehicle, etc.)

For a vehicle:

  • Year, make and model
  • Body type (two-door, four-door, van, SUV, etc.)
  • Passengers (number of people in vehicle)
  • License Plate (most important)
  • Damage or anything unusual (logos, etc.)
  • Color

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 communications signs
  • Use feedback to obtain and verify information and observations
  • Observe and report
  • Do not become personally involved

More Information

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) 410/265-8080