CCSO officers deliver presentation on workplace safety
‘Hoax device’ still under investigation
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.
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.