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NCJ Number: 202400 Find in a Library
Title: Responding to the Terror Threat: While Terrorism Is a Real Danger, a Calm and Measured Assessment of the Risk Is Required
Journal: Campus Safety Journal  Volume:11  Issue:8  Dated:September 2003  Pages:28-31
Author(s): Michael Dorn
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Instructional Material; Technical Assistance
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This overview of how schools should plan to counter and respond to a terrorist threat first considers how likely it is for such an attack to occur, the types of threats posed, and prevention and preparation measures.
Abstract: There are a number of reasons why child-care facilities, schools, and colleges would be selected as targets by terrorists. These are soft targets that if attacked can provide mass casualties that provoke a strong emotional reaction and extensive media coverage. These features make campuses potential targets for terrorists; however, the chance that any particular school in the country would be attacked by terrorists is remote. Still, campuses must engage in security assessments and planning. This involves a determination of the types of threats that may be encountered. It is most useful to focus on the type of incidents that have occurred in the past. The main weapons used by terrorists in the past to attack student populations throughout the world are bombs and bomb threats, as well as hoax devices, along with multiple-victim shootings, hostage situations, chemical/toxin attacks, cyber attacks, school bus attacks, and attacks on school groups traveling abroad on field trips. Campuses can also be indirectly impacted by a terrorist attack through close proximity to a primary target. Prevention measures for terrorist attacks need not be extraordinary. A tactical site survey common for a basic security system should be conducted annually. Key areas that should receive attention are access control measures, surveillance camera systems, mail and package handling, law enforcement services, reporting and communications functions, parking restrictions, target hardening of air handling equipment, target hardening of vulnerable potential targets, target hardening of food services, training of campus transportation personnel, weapons screening, facility design features, employee background checks, facility protection, and target hardening of computer systems. A few key areas that should receive special attention with reference to a terrorist threat are incident command protocol; perimeter security protocol; emergency communications systems; mass casualty incidents; evacuation, lockdown, and shelter-in-place protocols; family reunification protocols; special events plans; hazardous materials protocols; radiological incident protocols; bomb incident and bomb threat protocols; suspicious package protocols; hostage situation protocols; and weapons assault protocols.
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Campus crime; Campus Security; Counter-terrorism tactics; School security; Terrorist tactics; Terrorist weapons; Threat assessment
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