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Bombs and Bomb Threat Management

NCJ Number
Campus Law Enforcement Journal Volume: 32 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2002 Pages: 23-26
James H. Gadberry Ph.D.
Date Published
4 pages
This article aids campus law enforcement in understanding the reasons behind possible bomb threats, potential targets of threats, and the procedures involved in managing a bomb threat.
With bombs and bomb threats seen as low probability, high-risk events, campuses across America are ill-prepared for a possible bomb threat. This article offers campus police pertinent information on bombs and the steps and tools necessary in managing a potential bomb threat to ensure the safety of those on campus. There are two types of bomb threats made at colleges: those that want to disrupt normal activities and those that will come form individuals who are mentally unstable. All campus law enforcement personnel and contract security must receive training in basic improvised explosive device (IED) recognition and bomb search techniques. In addition to training, a pre-threat plan of action tool kit should be prepared and ready for search personnel. Once a bomb threat is received there are several steps that need to be taken and include: (1) gather information; (2) make a decision on evacuation; (3) determine the parameters of the bomb search; and (4) lead team visually survey the room. If an item is found the following procedures are recommended: (1) report the location and detailed description of the item to the command center; (2) clearly mark all areas that lead to the suspicious item; (3) check to confirm all doors and windows are open to minimize blast damage; (4) evacuate the building by at least 300 feet in all directions; and (5) do not permit reentry into the building until the device has been removed or disarmed. Campus police must be prepared for any situation and have a workable and ready plan of action for bomb threats.