Recent tension between the United States and Iran has many residents questioning what effect it might have on Long Beach. On Jan. 18, 2020, the United States Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory stating “at this time, we have no information indicating a specific, credible threat to the Homeland.” That said, the Long Beach Police, Fire and Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications departments continue to monitor the situation and are working with their state, local and federal partners to keep the community safe.
Our Airport and Port also are monitoring the situation to ensure the security and safety of those traveling through their facilities. Should a significant issue related to Long Beach security arise, the LBPD will notify elected officials and the community.
There also are things residents can do to protect their family and property.
So, What Can You Do?
Residents should sign up for Alert Long Beach (AlertLB) to receive emergency messages and alerts from the city, should the need arise. This free mass notification system provides residents with important information before, during and after a major emergency. Residents who sign up for AlertLB receive emergency alerts to home phones, cell phones, email addresses and text devices. In addition to AlertLB, the City utilizes Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers, public safety personnel, television, radio, social media and amateur radio operators to alert the public, when necessary.
See Something, Say Something
Residents should report suspicious or criminal activity by calling (562) 435-6711 or 9-1-1 for emergencies. Examples and signs of suspicious activity include:
• Surveillance: A prolonged interest in or taking pictures/videos of personnel. Facilities, security features, or infrastructure in an unusual or covert manner.
• Expressed or Implied Threat: Threatening to commit a crime that could harm or kill people or damage a facility, infrastructure, or secured site.
• Testing or Probing of Security: Investigating or testing a facility’s security or IT systems to assess the strength or weakness of the target.
• Eliciting Information: Questioning personnel beyond mere curiosity about an event, facility, or operations.
The city of Long Beach respects its residents’ privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties by emphasizing behavior, rather than appearance, in identifying suspicious activity. Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious. Actions that document behavior that is suspicious or reasonably indicative of criminal activity should be reported to law enforcement personnel.
We know this is a difficult and frightful topic for many of us. Again, there are no current credible threats against Long Beach. Our goal is to provide residents with information and resources to help better prepare their families and property. As the saying goes, “Don’t be Scared, Be Prepared.”
Please visit www.dhs.gov/see-something-say-something/recognize-the-signs for additional signs of suspicious activity and the city of Long Beach Disaster Preparedness website for more information on how to prepare your home and workplace for a disaster or major emergency.
Reggie Harrison is the director of the city’s Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications and a Long Beach resident.