Homeland Security Spends Part of $2.9 Million ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ Campaign to Promote Security at NBA All Stars Game

By Penny Starr | February 16, 2011 | 5:00 AM EST

Homesland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

(CNSNews.com) – Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expanded her agency’s citizen action campaign “If You See Something, Say Something” to include security plans for next weekend’s National Basketball Association’s (NBA) All Star game in Los Angeles.

Napolitano held a press conference on Tuesday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., with NBA Commissioner David Stern to announce the “partnership” that will put posters and announcements on TV monitors at the Staples Center in Los Angeles next weekend, and at other venues nationwide over the coming months.

"Every citizen plays a critical role in identifying and reporting suspicious activities and threats," Napolitano said. "Our partnership with the NBA to bring the ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign to professional basketball events throughout the nation is a vital part of our efforts to ensure the safety of players, employees and fans."

In the DHS budget for fiscal year 2009, $2.9 million was allocated for the “If you see Something, Say Something” campaign.

Amy Kudwa, deputy assistant secretary in DHS’s Office of Public Affairs, told CNSNews.com that the agency has only spent $500,000 on the campaign (out of $2.9 million) to date because of efforts to work with state and local law enforcement and the private sector.

“Much of what we do with this campaign is through partnerships rather than financial outlay,” Kudwa said.

The "If You See Something, Say Something” campaign was advertised at the 2011 Super Bowl game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., on Feb. 6.

A DHS press release released in conjunction with the press conference said the campaign is also in place in more than 9,000 federal buildings nationwide, at Walmart stores, Mall of America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the general aviation industry, and state and local fusion centers (centers where state, local and federal law enforcement share intelligence and other resources) across the country.

Napolitano said that the campaign has resulted in the launch of several investigations, but she would not provide details on those cases. She also said it was difficult to measure whether the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign was effective as a deterrent to would-be terrorists.