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Summary and Personal Response - Assignment Example

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Following the famous 9/11 attack in New York, Dwyer proposes a program that promises safety to the citizenry. It is mainly a slogan campaign meant to educate the public to say something whenever they…
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Does “See Something, Say Something” Do Nothing? The Case against the Anti-Terrorism Staple Does “See Something, Say Something” DoNothing?
The case against the anti-terrorism staple
The title of this article is itself an article that was written by Dwyer Gunn. Following the famous 9/11 attack in New York, Dwyer proposes a program that promises safety to the citizenry. It is mainly a slogan campaign meant to educate the public to say something whenever they see one. The trademark slogan has been rallied to all parts of world by 54 different agencies. The theme of the message is a reminder that terrorists might attach any time. Nevertheless, the slogan campaign offers some comfort by assuring people that if they see something fishy and report it, then they can be assured of their safety.
The campaign slogan has not however passed the critics. Some term it as a nonsensical message that has got nothing to do with the safety of the people. For example, Harvey Molotch, NYU Sociologist, has different views about the campaign slogan, “See Something, Say Something”. According to Harvey, over 2000 residents of New York had actually “seen something and said something” but nothing tangible had come out of it. He recalls that in 2006 and 2007, over eighteen terrorism related cases were “seen” and reported. However, it turned out that the reported incidents had nothing to do with terrorism. They were just normal criminal activities such as violations of immigration rules, possession of unregistered guns, and selling of fake commodities. Harvey goes further to state that “it is not easy to stop terrorism related activities just by using campaign slogans”. Nonetheless, it is unfair to say that reporting does not help at all. A street vendor who alerted the police was able to save Times Square bombing in 2010.
The fact that many people in New York are busy doing their own activities is also an impediment in doing what the program advocates. The fact that there are people working on projects that involves wires and gadgets, and the Muslims carrying some machines into their worship places is also another challenge to the “See Something, Say Something” program. Reporting such harmless incidents will not only charm the law-enforcement system, but also create unnecessary tension. At times, “see something, say something” can be a nuisance slogan, especially when people report incidents that they are not sure of without involving investigators. The continual reporting of such incidences will also give police officers or investigators hard time to figure out what exactly is needed.
“See something, report something” program also has a “Chicken Little” upshot. For instance, if New Yorkers see something and report every time, and after careful investigation the information given is found to be bogus, then there will a reach a time when agencies will start ignoring such threats. It is imperative to note that when it comes to security issues, there is no guesswork. Facts are paramount in reporting security threatening incidences; otherwise, false impressions will take precedence. Additionally, some people might find it interesting to make unnecessary and fictional security threatening incidences thus, giving a bad impression about the program. Therefore, in reporting such cases, people must report actual facts and leave jokes aside, because when it comes to security matters, nobody is indispensable.
The program “See Something, Say Something” has other disadvantages too. For instance, the placards placed in strategic locations can serve as a safety hazard. Additionally, such placards can frustrate the efforts of trained professionals while trying to control criminal activities. Nevertheless, the program is beneficial in that it helps in keeping New York City safe from terrorist activities. Cases of bags left behind have dropped significantly and many New York residents feel more secure (Dwyer, 2012, p.1).
Reference
Dwyer, G. (2012). Does “See Something, Say Something” Do Nothing?
The case against the anti-terrorism staple. Retrieved from Read More
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