In light of the recent improvised explosive device (IED) incidents, the Office of the ROIC offers the following:
When Responding to Suspicious Packages:
Responding officer safety is paramount! You cannot keep the public safe if you become injured.
- When responding to suspicious packages or individuals, maintain a safe distance, keep all civilian traffic a safe distance from the area and maintain dispersion if responding with more than one officer.
- Maintain 360-degree awareness to detect any other potential threats – do not get tunnel vision. Be prepared for other simultaneous threats.
- Utilize technology where possible to inspect area – such as video surveillance cameras, binoculars or scopes. Local experts are familiar with what is normal versus suspicious.
- IEDs can be hidden in common, everyday items such as flashlights, book bags, briefcases, laptops, etc.
- IEDs can be obvious with protruding wires, foul smells, smoke, melted materials, duct tape or antennas.
- Remember, IEDs can be initiated with timers, on command, or be victim triggered.
- IEDs usually include a container for the explosive materials, a power source, and a switch or circuit.
Don’t pull on or trace suspicious wires
Don’t manipulate buttons or switches
Don’t cut wires
Don’t remove SIM cards
Don’t move suspicious device or bag
Don’t remove batteries
Don’t transmit unnecessarily on radio
Don’t answer ringing phones
- Responders should follow local protocols when responding to suspicious bags or devices. Remember the “Five C’s” when dealing with improvised explosive devices (IEDs):
- Confirm – the presence of the suspect item from a safe distance (report the incident)
- Clear – all personnel away from the scene; including unnecessary responders
- Cordon – off the endangered area to prevent unauthorized, and unintentional access
- Control – the area of concern; divert all civilian traffic away from the location
- Check – all personnel and the immediate area for secondary devices
Considerations for responding Law Enforcement:
The following indicators should be considered when responding to suspicious packages or persons:
- Individuals usually survey or prepare the site, prior to emplacement of an IED if time permits.
- Nefarious individuals may use decoys or hoax IEDs to lure responders closer to the real IED.
- IEDs are generally placed in a “kill box” or at choke point to maximize casualties.
- Terrorists and criminals often use secondary devices or daisy chained devices to affect responders.
- Be aware of IEDs on the person: wires may be protruding from clothing; watch for suspicious smells or stains on clothing; be alert for an individual attempting to ignite a package or item under clothing.
- IEDs may be covered with garbage, soda cans, dirt, cardboard or other natural items to conceal devices.
- Only properly trained responders should attempt to remove/render safe suspicious devices or packages.