• See Something Saying Something


    What is a Suspicious Activity?

    A suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Unusual items or situations:A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.

    • Eliciting information:A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.

    • Observation/surveillance:Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.

    Some of these activities could be innocent—it's up to Safety and Security Department to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation. The activities above are not all-inclusive, but have been compiled based on studies of pre-operational aspects of both successful and thwarted terrorist events over several years.

    Public and school safety is everyone's responsibility. If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement or a person of authority.

    Describe specifically what you observed, including:

    • Who or what you saw

    • When you saw it

    • Where it occurred

    • Why it's suspicious

    If you see something suspicious at the Academies of Loudoun, please let know your teacher, an administrator, or the Safety and Security Office. Is better to be safe than sorry.


    Race, gender or religious affiliations are not indicators of suspicious behavior. Look for signs of reconnaissance or equipment tampering.

    Don’t be afraid to report any of the following:

    • Placing a package or luggage in a different compartment than the one being occupied.

    • People who stay at bus for long periods without getting on.

    • Anyone tampering with surveillance cameras, safety systems, machinery or other sensitive equipment.

    • People videotaping, sketching or taking notes on transit equipment and facilities or security equipment.

    • People entering unauthorized areas of bus stations.

    • People carrying aerosol containers or anything omitting a strange smell or gas.

    • Evasive answers to common questions regarding destinations; deliberate attempts to avoid contact with others or to draw attention.

    • Loose fitting clothing, large sweatshirt, vest or jacket in hot weather conditions. Clothing that is disproportionate to the body type of the person.

    • Attempts to abandon a vehicle in or near a transit parking facility, or cars in the parking lot without proper tags and license plates.

    • An individual who is fixated only on a particular object or location.

    • Suspicious activity or loitering around transportation facilities.

    • Consecutive round trips on the same transit route.


    • DO NOT take direct action

    • DO NOT confront the individual

    • DO NOT reveal your suspicions

    • DO record as many details as possible

    • DO notify a teacher, staff, or Security/SRO as soon as possible

    Suspicious Object


    Unattended briefcases or bags may simply be forgotten or discarded items – but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t be afraid to report any of the following:

    • Bags, boxes or other packages left unattended on buses and trains, in stations, on platforms or on train tracks—especially if partially hidden or in unusual locations.

    • Exposed wiring, leaks, strange smells or other signs of potential tampering on buses and trains.

    • Suspicious carry-on items such as large backpacks, gym bags and luggage weighing more than normal.


    • DO NOT touch or move any suspicious objects

    • DO NOT use a cell phone or radio in the direct vicinity

    • DO evacuate the area to a safe distance

    • DO notify a teacher, staff, or Security/SRO as soon as possible