POLICE Magazine Supplements

Special Report 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1113595

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Page 9 of 19

Fear and Confusion Bomb threats are most oen called into the authorities by an anonymous source to cause fear or confusion. Re- cently, bomb threats were being report- ed across the country on the same day by the same caller. He was reporting bombs had been placed in major air- ports, schools, and other facilities. Due to the nature of the call, some school districts decided to enforce their "lock out" or "lock down" protocols. During this wave of threats, law en- forcement had to respond to multiple locations. So it's safe to assume the in- tent of this was to cause fear and confu- sion as well as to tie up first responders. In most instances, businesses and schools have their own protocols on how to respond to bomb threats, just as law enforcement does. When a school or business makes the decision to evac- uate, someone who works in the build- ing should be responsible for searching for anything suspicious or out of place since he or she knows what belongs and what doesn't. If something suspicious is found, and all leads to determine its origin are exhausted, then the bomb squad will be called to respond because the scenario has changed from a "bomb threat" to a "suspicious package." Call the Squad Bomb squads typically will not respond to a bomb threat since there is nothing a bomb technician can do when there's no suspicious package present. When something is deemed as a sus- picious package, the first responding officers' observations are critical to the bomb squad response. Every situation is dependent on the circumstances, and the first officer or deputy on the scene needs to be able to make safe and logical decisions when gathering the informa- tion. 10 | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | C R I T ICA L I NC I D E N T R E S P O N S E PHOTOS: UNITED STATES BOMB TECHNICIAN ASSOCIATION What is the difference between a "bomb threat" and a "suspicious package?" e answer seems obvious, and the responses for bomb squads are very different. Let's first address a bomb threat. It's helpful to set up a location for the bomb squad to stage within a safe and reasonable proximity of the suspicious package. u Bomb Threats and Suspicious Packages When a threat call includes the presence of a suspicious package, the response elevates to critical incident status, and it's time to call in the bomb squad. BRIAN KNUDSEN AND SEAN DENNIS

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