Emergency responders are trained to spring into action in the event of a bomb threat, but how should the average person react to an anonymous, threatening call?
A new video produced by the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Office for Bombing Prevention, within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Protection and Programs Directorate’s (NPPD) Office of Infrastructure Protection, in collaboration with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), aims to fill the knowledge gap and bring the DHS’ bomb threat checklist to life.
“We were monitoring the rash of bomb threats nationwide,” said Jeff Morgan, UCF’s director of Security and Emergency Management. “As we were updating our bomb threat policy, we searched for a video to help us educate students, faculty, and staff at UCF. We couldn’t find one that worked for a diverse audience like the one that we have, so with our DHS partners we created a new training tool that can be utilized by all types of organizations.”
In partnership with local DHS Protective Security Advisor Marty Smith, UCF developed training for employees that teaches them the right steps to help law enforcement catch the people who call in threats.
The video—now available online—trains those who receive a threat to react calmly, gather important information, and then report the situation to police.
“The partnership in creating this video is a good example of how we make our nation more secure and resilient, one community at a time,” said Suzanne Spaulding, DHS Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate. “By combining the expertise of the DHS Office for Bombing Prevention with the knowledge and understanding at the university, we can now put the best information into the hands of those across the nation who might be called upon to take action in the event of a bomb threat.”
The International Association of Chiefs of Police and DHS also will share the video with their partners across the globe.
“When a bomb threat occurs, it can be an extremely terrifying and stressful situation,” said IACP President Terrence M. Cunningham, Chief of the Wellesley, Massachusetts, Police Department. “This training video will help teach those who are on the receiving end of a bomb threat call how to remain calm, gather crucial information for law enforcement, and report the incident in the most effective, efficient, and safe way.”