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NCJ Number: 203943 Find in a Library
Title: Preparing for the Worst: What you Should Know About Weapons of Mass Destruction Gear
Journal: Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:February 2003  Pages:34-39
Author(s): Shawn Hughes
Date Published: February 2003
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides information to police departments on what types of weapons of mass destruction gear a department should have.
Abstract: Prior to September 11, 2001, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) such as gas, viruses, and nukes were mostly the stuff of novels, not the everyday concern of the Nation’s law enforcement. This article provides useful information to law enforcement agencies on what types of WMD gear a department should have. Strong support from the agency head and funding are the first things that must be obtained before any gear can be purchased. The article describes how to obtain funds and where to find them, such as Federal grants and local businesses. The article then goes on to describe the basic safety gear that should be purchased. It also provides helpful suggestions on how to purchase the equipment, what to look for when buying the equipment, and what level of safety should be considered in purchasing certain items. In addition, the article lists the names of manufacturers of various items. According to the article, the basic safety gear includes respirators and protective clothing. Respirators should be full-face with a (nuclear, biological, chemical) NBC-rated face piece and a canister that doesn’t impede the use of firearms. Protective clothing, which comes in three levels, should be at least a level B, one-piece suits with hoods and booties. Purchases for detection systems should be made very carefully. Systems that detect biological agents are not very reliable, nor are they practicable. Detection systems for chemical and radiological agents are much more dependable. Finally, departments need to consider clean up. For small agencies, it is best to leave the clean up to fire departments or hazard materials units, groups that already have the necessary equipment. Larger agencies can work with the fire department, set up their own unit, or both. Finally, agencies should not spend money on high tech gadgets that may never be used. Simple management practice, minimal investment in basic gear, expeditious use of funds, and adequate training will yield a cohesive, effective solution for departments wishing to purchase WMD gear.
Main Term(s): Protective equipment
Index Term(s): Biological weapons; Chemical irritants; Hazardous substances or materials; Nuclear terrorism; Personal Security/Self Protection; Protective masks; Radioactive material
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