The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke on Thursday at the National Sheriffs’ Association’s winter conference in Washington, D.C. about DHS’s “If you see something, say something” campaign, and agreed with many of her critics who argue that the campaign’s tactics are frightening.
The campaign, which encourages Americans to report suspicious activity, has been criticized for breeding fear among Americans and for hinting at an Orwell-like attitude from the federal government. Napolitano admitted on Thursday that her omnipresence in Washington, D.C.’s metro subway system is indeed “a scary thought.”
The campaign’s objective is to fight terrorism through public service announcements that feature Napolitano’s voice encouraging citizens “to report suspicious activity.” The messages can be heard in thousands of hotels, sports arenas, universities, Walmart stores, and public transportation stations.
Videography by Sarah Hofmann