Capt Harry Jacobs is a US Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer (unpaid). He is Director of Public Affairs and Maritime Domain Awareness Inspector. (His spouse, Victoria Jacobs, is also a volunteer Auxiliary member, who also wears a uniform.)

He began by showing 9/11 photos of damaged buildings and injured victims. Is it possible to stop a terrorist attack? The Coast Guard believes it is, with the support of the American people. Terrorism can come here from anywhere in the world, and effective response requires the public’s awareness, knowledge, and constant surveillance. Report what you see (Situational Awareness).

Know what is normal (activities, situations, people) and what is not. America’s Waterway Watch is analogous to Neighborhood Watch, but on on a national scale and coordinated by the US Department of Homeland Security. Suspicious activities could include Surveillance (by individuals showing an abnormal interest in security or facilities), Elicitation (of important information without having need to know), Testing Security (studying responses to false alarms), and Suspicious Behavior (any behavior that seems out of place).

The US government believes we are getting closer to another “9/11” attack, anywhere in the country including our neighborhood. He urges us to identify, record and report, but don’t be confrontational and don’t take personal risks. (He related the recent report of a motorist reporting to the Highway Patrol about an expensive boat seen coming to a deserted beach north of Los Angeles, that was met by a truck that started loading packages from the boat. The truck was followed and intercepted driving to Los Angeles, large quantities of illegal drugs were recovered, and the participants were arrested. The expensive boat had been abandoned as “a business expense”.)

We need to safeguard the safety and security of our communities, infrastructure, ports, and waterways. Don’t stereotype people; people are not suspicious; behavior is. Don’t wait for terrorists to come to our shores. They are already here, and they are not afraid to die and to take others with them. It could happen at any time, anywhere, without warning.