CCSO of­fi­cers de­liver pre­sen­ta­tion on work­place safety

‘Hoax de­vice’ still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Maryland Independent - - News - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @An­drew_IndyNews

Deputies from the com­mu­nity polic­ing unit gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on work­place safety last week at the White Plains Cor­po­rate Cen­ter in re­sponse to a “hoax de­vice” that was de­liv­ered to the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent in late March. The de­vice was made to re­sem­ble a real bomb, caus­ing an evac­u­a­tion and a bomb squad in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The bomb squad has not re­leased any up­dates on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but the case is still ac­tive.

In their pre­sen­ta­tion, Cpl. Steven Bryant and Pfc. Lee El­liot ex­plained to build­ing em­ploy­ees how to prop­erly han­dle sus­pi­cious pack­ages, sus­pi­cious per­sons, bomb threats and ac­tive shooter sit­u­a­tions.

Pack­ages that ap­pear rigid, bulky or lop­sided may in­di­cate that some­thing is wrong, Bryant said. Other sus­pi­cious char­ac­ter­is­tics in­clude leak­ing or stains on the pack­age. Ad­di­tion­ally, pack­ages with­out postage should be par­tic­u­larly sus­pi­cious since it would not have been de­liv­ered by a mail courier.

Should a sus­pi­cious pack­age be de­liv­ered, the deputies in­structed not touch it and to leave the mail item where it was found while clear­ing the im­me­di­ate area.

Al­though th­ese events should be han­dled se­ri­ously, one pos­si­ble mo­tive of a sus­pi­cious pack­age or bomb threat may be to dis­rupt busi­ness rather than cause harm.

The of­fi­cers also en­cour­aged em­ploy­ees to con­tact po­lice to report sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity.

“If some­thing doesn’t feel right, trust your in­stincts,” El­liot said.

Ex­tended loi­ter­ing, build­ing ob­ser­va­tion, and un­usual be­hav­ior are a few ex­am­ples of sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­i­ties. Em­ploy­ees should also be wary of some­one elic­it­ing an un­usual amount of in­for­ma­tion, such as sched­ules.

“Those are sus­pi­cious things you need to let us know about,” Bryant said. “If you see some­thing, say some­thing.”

If worse comes to worse, the of­fi­cers ex­plained how to re­act in an ac­tive shooter sit­u­a­tion.

Have a plan in mind be­fore­hand, they urged, adding that em­ploy­ees should be aware of pos­si­ble es­cape routes.

If pos­si­ble, al­ways run and es­cape the dan­ger first.

Hid­ing is the next best op­tion, and if it can safely be done, call 911 and leave the line open if si­lence is para­mount.

As a last re­sort, fight the gun­man with ag­gres­sion and un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment if dis­cov­ered.

Bryant and El­liot ad­vised that em­ploy­ees should be aware that the first group of of­fi­cers that ar­rive are on a “seek and de­stroy mis­sion” and a sec­ond group will be com­ing af­ter to help vic­tims. Em­ploy­ees should re­main as calm as pos­si­ble and obey all in­struc­tions. Keep your hands empty and do not make any sud­den move­ments to­ward of­fi­cers, so po­lice know you are not a threat, they ex­plained.

Those in­ter­ested in hav­ing the com­mu­nity polic­ing unit come to their of­fice to dis­cuss work­place safety should con­tact the CCSO com­mu­nity ser­vices of­fice at 301-932-3080.

STAFF PHOTO BY AN­DREW RICHARD­SON

Cpl. Steven Bryant, right, dis­cusses work­place safety at the White Plains Cor­po­rate Cen­ter in re­sponse to a “hoax de­vice” that was de­liv­ered to the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent in late March.

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