The ability to communicate is one of the most fundamental skills we have as humans. It connects us to our family and community. Whether it is using our voice, our smartphone or Morse code, being able to convey a message when our safety is threatened is important and doing it in a timely manner is invaluable. We have seen in just the past few months how vulnerable we are as casual visitors in medium and large venues. As people begin to question going to the movies, a nightclub or the airport, our rose colored glasses have been ripped off and we now know that we are never 100 percent safe. However, we don’t have to be victims. In 2015, after the first Paris attack, CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem said in an article, “… We used to sort of say, “We got this, we’ll take care of this,” and now everyone is realizing we have to engage communities, engage the public, engage parents and others about what they can do. You feel empowered instead of sitting there watching like, “Oh my God, the world is on fire.” I believe, just like law enforcement, that many times before or during criminal activities, lone shooters, or terrorist attacks, there were signs that people saw before the tragedy happened. They questioned themselves, didn’t know what to do or simply did not want to get involved. However, in today’s climate, every voice and action matters. All eyes and ears are needed to keep us safe. For example, if you are at the airport and getting ready to board a flight and see an unattended bag in the waiting area, what do you do? Do you inform the flight attendant or do you assume the owner is nearby and will pick it up? Or, if you see a person shoplifting at a store, would you report it or let it go? Would you search for security or would you decline to get involved? What if you thought you saw something that could be a crime, but you’re not really sure, what would you do? Or maybe it is something amorphous, a person acting strange. You have a tingling in your gut or a fleeting feeling, so you ignore it and go your own way. In most large places, people don’t know where to start if they want to report and incident. Security is not always visible. It is no longer accepted that we hold our tongue and stay silent if we all want to be safe. Venue Security is our first line of defense in the many public places that we visit every day. Their role is to protect us, and most times they are there before first responders. We need to support them so that they are able to do their job. We need to reach out to them. We empower ourselves when we help them. #communicationmatters #Empoweringpeopletoprotectthemselves.