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IU reviews bomb threat procedure


By Matthew Stefanski




Just hours after bomb threats were made at North Dakota State University and University of Texas on Sept. 14, Public Safety and Institutional Assurance
officials posted on protect.iu.edu, “Currently, there have been no such threats reported at any of Indiana University’s campuses.”

As a result of the threats, members of the emergency management policy team reviewed existing emergency management procedures.

The policy team consists of representatives from IU Communications, IU Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management and Continuity in addition to other departments.

“We were together within a matter of hours,” Land said. “We weren’t going to wait to see what could happen here.”

According to protect.iu.edu, the office works to ensure that IU’s emergency plans work and students and faculty are aware of appropriate procedures.

Land said the key for an institution is to effectively and quickly manage emergency situations.

“Whether it’s evacuating a building or a whole campus, it’s important that we have the systems built in place,” Land said.

In preparation against a bomb threat, IUPD acquired a bomb-sniffing K-9 in November 2011.

IUPD Chief Keith Cash said bomb technicians patrol with the dog at large events.

“There are times that we sweep with the dogs and have technicians behind suspicious objects,” Cash said. “For the threats that could be called in, we go ahead and respond to those along with the dog.”

Cash also said IUPD is able to send and receive information to and from the other agencies rather quickly through a “fusion center.”

“Every state has a fusion center, a centralized location where information is gathered and disseminated to law enforcement agencies,” Cash said.

IU has received bomb threats in the past,Cash said.

“Almost every one of them has been falsely reported,” he said.

He said the false reports involved a suspicious object.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Arvind Verma said he believed bombs are becoming more common as a result of people learning how to build them on the
Internet.

“It must be understood that Situational Prevention Theory suggests that those who attack communities in such a manner may be psychologically disturbed but tend to act rationally to enact their deeds,” Verma said in an email.

Verma said the best way to prepare for a threat is to understand where bombs could be planted and what time periods are chosen.

“Purposely, a finite number of sites will be selected as they fit the situation of causing maximum damage,” he  said.

Verma said the police need to study situations that create maximum damage and plan to deal with threats.

“One part of planning is quick evacuation and keeping everyone safe,” Verma said. “The other is surveillance and collection of intelligence.”

The primary system IU uses to alert students and faculty in the event of an emergency is IU-Notify.

“The best thing any student can do is to register their information with IU-Notify, which allows us to get in touch with students in case of an emergency,” Land said.

Land also said he urges any student that sees anything suspicious to contact IUPD.

“If you see something that gives you concern to be worried for your safety or the safety of others around you, do not be afraid to report it,” Land said.

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