Over the past few months, and specifically this past weekend, we have been forced to witness the presence of terrorism at our very doorsteps. While this is nothing new, it is something that now has become more prevalent, more recognized, and more likely because of our desire to live as a free people.
The focus of most terrorists is to generate glaring news coverage, a platform to promote their beliefs or message and to cause as much damage as possible to achieve this goal.
The biggest mistake people make is believing this cannot happen to them. While it is possible we might not all be individually affected, we still have an obligation and a duty to ensure that we are safe, our families are safe, and the clients we serve are protected. Our position on the front line gives the federal, state, and local agencies, and clients a valuable set of eyes and ears to detect, prevent, and deter.
OPS policy and training on suspicious packages are comprehensive. Some key points to remember:
- Do not touch or move the package.
- Do not overreact, people recognize your role in keeping them safe and will follow your lead. If you panic, they will panic.
- Remain calm, and in a calm voice, clear the area. Never use the word “bomb.”
- Do not use your cell phone, as this may activate a bomb. Use a landline only. Try to remember who was previously in that area or secure the video feed for use by the police.
- Once the incident is over, document everything that happened, all notifications made, and what actions were taken.
Overall, safety is the first priority. Diligence and professionalism to patrons, guests, tenants, residents, the general public, and responding agencies can prevent a situation from becoming worse. As always, we must revisit and reinforce our training in these crucial areas to better protect ourselves and those around us.
Stay Safe and Remain Vigilant.