Threats By Mail
Threats by mail consisting of suspicious letters and packages continue to be reported to US federal, state and local law enforcement and emergency response agencies. In some instances, these may include powders, liquids or other materials in a letter or package. These threats by mail have been prepared to deliver an explosive, biological contaminant, or other destructive contrivance meant to injure, kill, or at a minimum severely disrupt operations. Proper early identification of such items along with knowing what to do when discovered is the first line of defense in preventing a threat by mail incident.
BPS has been providing threats by mail response planning and training to clients for twenty years. All response plans and training programs are based on current best practices as recommended by national law enforcement organizations such as –
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- United States Postal Inspection Service
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- US Secret Service
- United States Marshal Service
Threats by Mail Identification and Response
All personnel responsible for handling incoming mail and packages require sufficient training to readily identify suspected threats by mail. This not only includes mail handlers, receiving personnel and security, but receptionists, executive assistants, and all the people who provide relief for any of these positions.
If a suspected threat by mail is discovered, delivering it to the receptionist or to security personnel to deal with is not the correct response. BPS provides response considerations regarding multiple threats by mail scenarios that include the following -
- Observed Delivery / Receipt of Suspicious Mail or Package
- Unopened Suspected Chemical / Biological / Radiological (CBR) Mail or Package
- Opened Suspected Chemical / Biological / Radiological (CBR) Mail or Package
- Discovered Suspicious Mail or Package (Treated as a placed device)
Early identification of a suspected threat by mail can minimize the impact to an organization. It can mean the difference between a brief disruption while investigated or a lengthy shut-down while contamination or repairs are completed.