This is the first in a series of articles that will address the growing threat of suicide bombers in the U.S. and how public safety agencies can effectively plan for and respond to these events. The articles will cover such issues as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), car bombs, pre-incident...
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"OPSEC for Public Safety" is a new course being offered by the Interagency OPSEC Support Staff for first responders and public safety agencies. Students who successfully complete the training will be able to apply OPSEC to emergency and special event planning; special operations such as SWAT, hazmat, weapons of mass destruction and bomb squad; intelligence and counter terrorism; arson; narcotics task forces; and criminal investigations. The workshop also provides practical examples of using OPSEC in the public safety world. Participants will learn how terrorists collect intelligence and plan their operations, how to identify areas vulnerable to an attack, and countermeasures that can protect information that needs to be secure. For additional information on the "OPSEC for Public Safety" course visit www.ioss.gov.
The world has changed drastically and will continue to do so. The information presented here is intended to help agencies with planning and training efforts. All can hope that suicide bombers will not strike again in the U.S., but if they do, trained and educated first responders can help lessen the impact with a safe and effective response.
The community has entrusted us with their safety, so we must prepare now. Remember to stay alert and stay safe.
August Vernon is the Operations Officer with Response Risk Strategies, a North Carolina-based organization providing specialized public safety response training who recently returned from a year in Iraq as a security contractor. He is also involved with the international initiative to provide terrorism and WMD response training to former member states of the Soviet Union and is also an adjunct instructor for the OPSEC for Public Safety program. Vernon was the assistant coordinator with a large county emergency management office, responsible for interagency coordination and multi-agency public safety training from 2000 to 2004. He has been a member of the fire service since 1990 and is a North Carolina Fire Service Instructor Levels I and II. He also served in the U.S. Army as an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) Operations Specialist. Vernon can be reached reference for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.