PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- After a brick of cocaine was spotted by a beach-goer who notified authorities, Charlotte County Sheriff's office is hoping similar community tips will help fight terrorism.
"It was just someone walking and noticed something floating in the water that didn't quite seem normal and went over to it, said Lt. John Heck, Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, special investigative unit.
What the beach-goer noticed off the coast of Englewood turned out to be a kilo of cocaine, drifting at sea near the Don Petro State Park last weekend.
Charlotte County Sheriff's office held a press conference Thursday to discuss the success of the 'See Something, Say Something model; which urges residents to report crime to local law enforcement agencies.
"It gives us a clue of where it might be coming into. The question was asked early is this a common route for drugs to come into Charlotte County. It might not be; it could be but it gives us a chance to investigate that," said Lt. Heck.
The department is hoping that the same success will be translated to a program aimed to combat terrorism called "If you see something, say something."
The program, which is headed by the Department of Homeland Security, is a multi-agency initiative to combat terrorism through community tips. Residents are urged to call 855-FLA-SAFE, to report any suspicious behavior in their community.
"If they see suspicious incidences that are indicative of possible terrorist activities or acts of violence that they can contact the florida safe number," said Lt. Jill McBee.
They urge residents to focus more on behavior and not the individual's race, ethnicity, or religious affiliation.
"We certainly want to field any phone calls where people have concerns but we ask that you be able to identify the actual behavior and not just the individual," said Lt. Mcbee