MILWAUKEE -- A new campaign targeting Milwaukee's downtown entertainment district is encouraging business owners and patrons to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. It is an attempt to try to prevent mass shootings in this post-Orlando world -- and training took place on Tuesday evening, June 28th in downtown Milwaukee.
The campaign launched Tuesday, and with it, came training for bartenders, night club owners and bouncers.
Organizers of this effort said the training focused on behavior -- rather than profiling.
"If it's summer and someone shows up with a winter coat -- well, something doesn't seem right and I think it has more to do with behavioral rather than anything else," Omar Shaikh with SURG Restaurant Group said.
This campaign isn't meant to scare anyone. In fact, organizers say the goal is just the opposite. They believe providing people with information and resources will make those heading out in Milwaukee feel a lot safer.
"We`re promoting 'See Something, Say Something,'" Mitch Ross with the Intelligence Fusion Center said.
The campaign was launched one day before Summerfest begins -- and two weeks after the mass shooting in Orlando. Forty-nine people died when a gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub.
Intelligence Fusion Center officials hosted the training sessions Tuesday for bartenders, nightclub owners and bouncers -- teaching them to look out for potential terrorist activity.
The training was held at "The Garden" on N. Milwaukee Street.
"These are venues that terrorists at all levels -- these are the areas people want to target," Ross said.
Ross is the training and outreach officer for the Intelligence Fusion Center -- a division of the Milwaukee Police Department and Homeland Security.
The goal of this training was to help each business establish a chain of command if, for example, a patron reports something suspicious to a bartender.
"It`s raising a red flag for you," Ross said.
The SURG Restaurant Group participated in this training, and worked with the Intelligence Fusion Center to get this program started.
"It`s always a concern and I think Orlando has opened a lot of eyes in all communities," Omar Shaikh with SURG Restaurant Group said.
The Intelligence Fusion Center works separately with Summerfest officials on similar training.
You'll see "See Something, Say Something" posters as you enter the gates at Summefest beginning Wednesday, June 29th.
This campaign isn't just for people working downtown. It's for everyone. If you see something, you're encouraged to say something. You can call 877-WI-WATCH -- or 877-949-2824.