Fort Huachuca DES personnel launch iWATCH program
July 29, 2010
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- If you see something suspicious on post, the Directorate of Emergency Services personnel want you to call Fort HuachucaAca,!a,,cs iWATCH hotline.
The iWATCH program, which will be activated Army-wide Sunday, is a community program designed to help neighborhoods stay safe from potential terrorist activities.
Aca,!A"The program is similar in function to what the neighborhood watch used to be, but itAca,!a,,cs focused on counterterrorism,Aca,!A? explains Lorraine Griffin, installation force protection specialist, in the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.
iWATCH is a new program, or a implementation of old ideas, packaged for law enforcement for counterterrorism.
Army personnel established the parameters of the program within the law enforcement environment. In June, Master Sgt. William Yorgey, operations sergeant in the Directorate of Emergency Services here, wrote a standard operating procedure for Fort Huachuca. He did this by considering how the abilities and capabilities of DES personnel work best within the parameters of the installation.
Aca,!A"We have a dedicated phone line for the program that will be answered 24/7 at the Military Police Station, and whatever happens, theyAca,!a,,cll vet it from there and push it forward based on our SOP,Aca,!A? Yorgey explains, noting DES personnel will make the determination as to what agencies, if any, should get involved.
The number to report suspicious behavior is 538-6969.
Suspicious behavior includes, but is not limited to, strangers asking questions about security forces or procedures, people drawing or measuring important buildings, cars or trucks left in Aca,!A"No ParkingAca,!A? zones in front of important buildings, and people purchasing supplies or equipment that can be used to make bombs or weapons.
Aca,!A"When you call that number youAca,!a,,cre going to be on the phone with someone who is trained and ready to deal with whatever the situation may be,Aca,!A? Yorgey says, noting thereAca,!a,,cs certain things the MPs are going to react to immediately and certain things they wonAca,!a,,ct react to immediately, Aca,!A"but everything will be addressed.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"We already have certain programs within Fort Huachuca that serve us well,Aca,!A? Griffin says, explaining iWATCH is a unique program.
Aca,!A"[Yorgey] built a conduit for this program so it can funnel into a single source system and allow it to go into one area and then [law enforcement personnel] make the decision on where it goes from there.Aca,!A?
Griffin says the education and awareness process might be challenging because it is a new program, but theyAca,!a,,cre trying to get the word out through various avenues including Public Service Announcement commercials on the CommanderAca,!a,,cs Access Channel (Channel 97), posters in buildings on post, and distributing information to the units here.
Aca,!A"The way we approach this program is through community involvement. We rely on family support groups, the unitsAca,!a,,c commanders and first sergeants to bring together Soldiers so they can go talk to their families,Aca,!A? Griffin notes.
Personnel in DPTMS and DES are asking for people to have confidence that this is a beneficial program and DES personnel are here to help.
Aca,!A"Force protection is near and dear to the ArmyAca,!a,,cs heart,Aca,!A? Griffin says, adding the Army is finding a way to take care of the installation, and this is another sense of security for the installation.
Aca,!A"Some of these Soldiers are on their second and third deployments, and this is a sense of security for the families,Aca,!A? she adds.
For more information about iWATCH or to view the ArmyAca,!a,,cs iWATCH videos, users can log in to their AKO account via www.us.army.mil, and click on the iWATCH link on their home page.