Austin, Texas has experienced an unfortunate series of suspicious package bombs in the last month, and while the suspect is now dead, the reality of another perpetrator picking up where he left off is scarily present. The series of bombings started on March 2 and ended with the death of the suspect this past week. The last incident, which involved an artillery simulator on Tuesday, prior to the suspect’s death was stated to not be related to the package bomb series by police. Nonetheless, many cities in the nation are on high alert.
AEGIS Security & Investigations views these bombings as terror-related incidents because they were intended to instill fear in the public. Whether they were intended as targets for specific people based on an ill-placed ideology is not for us to determine; however, informing the public of the best ways to protect themselves is one of our priorities.
People have been asking, “how do we know if a package is actually a bomb?” in the wake of the Austin incidents. One news source provides local tips to spot suspicious packages. Here are our tips:
- Check records of what you have ordered and confirm their expected time of arrival or, if possible, track the package through the delivery service
- Pick up packages from the delivery service rather than having packages delivered to your doorstep — this will not only prevent package theft but deter any perpetrator from viewing you as an “easy target”
- Install a security camera on your front door to confirm who has dropped off packages
If your concern is beyond a personal threat — business or organization with offices or a large building — ensure your package handlers are trained to handle suspicious packages. Additionally, have a bomb threat response protocol in place.
The Department of Homeland Security offers a bomb threat checklist and quick tips on how to handle a bomb threat, noting that these instances are serious and should not be taken lightly. The gravity of bomb threats, active shooter situations, and security breaches is best understood when you are placed in a real-life scenario. Trainings from AEGIS are hosted in a controlled, safe space that imitate real-world threats and orient participants to appropriately react and protect themselves and others should such a scenario become a reality.
Bomb threat training, active shooter and other terrorism-related training is essential to companies operating locally and abroad, as well as to facilities and events that are defined as soft targets. Large events, bustling buildings and public spaces render themselves susceptible to security hazards, including bomb and improvised explosive devices; hence, workshops and trainings from security experts are essential to maintaining a safe community space for all. This process of target hardening is aimed at ensuring your congregation, students, community members and friends are safe within your unique space.
To enhance your security and to begin the target hardening process, we recommend the following:
The first step is awareness. This may include becoming a member of organizations including the FBI’s Infragard Member’s Alliance, security industry groups like ASIS, and faith based groups like the Jewish Federation, Secure Community Network, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). These organizations provide valuable intelligence, manuals, briefings and training. In LA, the Community Security Initiative of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation supports members by providing assessment, intelligence monitoring, information sharing and training services to Jewish schools and synagogues.
The second step is conducting a full audit of your organization and facility. That includes looking at its geographical location, physical security measures and training options, as well as the level of employee and contractor screening, emergency procedures, law enforcement response and contingency planning currently implemented.
The third step is improving and implementing best practices and monitoring the differences. This may include built enhancements including upgraded systems and personnel enhancements like adding security staff.
The fourth step is implementing a training program in how to observe and report suspicious activities as well as how to respond to them. It is important to remember that target hardening isn’t a one-time process. It is ever-changing and requires consistent attention. A professional and experienced security consultant in Los Angeles can assist in reviewing and implementing the process.
AEGIS Security & Investigations is a professional and experienced security resource commercial clients and the faith based community alike. We address the specific needs of all of our clients, and we have a unique understanding of the security demands for organizations that require security to not “feel” like security. So, where programs like the Community Security Initiative end, AEGIS continues. We provide expert security consulting and assessment services, armed and unarmed security guard service, and training on how to survive an active shooter.
The gravity of bomb threats, active shooter situations, and security breaches is best understood when you are placed in a real-life scenario. Trainings from AEGIS are hosted in a controlled, safe space that imitate real-world threats and orient participants to appropriately react and protect themselves and others should such a scenario become a reality.
AEGIS’ expansive list of Corporate Training Solutions is ideal for overall workplace safety and security, amplifying employee readiness in the event of an emergency. Topics ranging from pre-incident indicators of threats to active shooters can be trained in a rememberable format to resonate with participants, ensuring they walk away certain of their abilities to effectively respond to a variety of threat-related situations. Contacting AEGIS today can offer your employees and clients the assurance necessary to feel safe in the workplace.
Our Workplace Violence & Security Awareness training program is designed to provide information on how to identify, predict, mitigate and respond to workplace violence, crime and terrorism. Specific training on bomb threat protocol can be incorporated into your personal resiliency program to enhance your workplace’s ability to effectively and safely handle such a situation. The training program lasts between two and eight hours dependent on the needs of the company.
AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people tracing, and background investigation. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit www.aegis.com.
By Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner