MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida is home to huge events all year round. Those events, whether sporting or entertainment, are potential terrorist targets.
Capt. Brian Rafky is with the Homeland Security Bureau of the Miami-Dade Police Department. He’s also the deputy director of the Southeast Florida Fusion Center, which connects local law enforcement with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
“Essentially, our goal is to combat the spread of terrorism,” Capt. Rafky said.
When big events happen anywhere from Palm Beach to Key West – they’re involved.
“We have detectives on scene, plain clothes, we’re working these things,” Rafky said. “We’re involved to make sure the community’s safe, we’re involved to make sure our nation’s safe.”
But it’s not just these massive events that are targets.
The Manchester bombing reminds us about soft targets like concerts, malls and movie theaters or even museums and performing arts centers. They’re easy for terrorists to hit.
“Anybody can have anything like in their purse, because they don’t check you in the mall or like around here. So you never know,” said shopper Kaitlin Fletcher.
People are more vigilant than ever over the past few years.
Capt. Rafky told us to keep our eyes open for those who could be concealing something under clothes. You should also take note of what people are doing around you.
“If you see someone at critical infrastructure, like a power plant, a water treatment plant of some kind, someone’s taking photographs of that area, it’s out of the ordinary, taking notes, drawing notes, making sketches, anyone lingering in areas like that. Those are things we’d want to be made aware of,” Capt. Rafky said.
While awareness can ward off attacks, many say they will remain watchful but won’t cave to fear.
“I don’t want that to dictate my how I live my life,” vowed shopper Jill Schermerhorn. “So I’m going to travel, I’m going to shop and just whatever is, is.”
If you have a terrorism related tip for the Fusion Center, you can call the Citizen’s Terror Tip Line at 855-352-7233 or email it to http://www.iwatchsouthflorida.com.
For more information, go to MiamiDade.gov/police.