fbpx

HBCU Bomb Threats

HBCU BOMB THREATS

From January to March 2022, over 55 HBCUs and places of worship received bomb threats (mostly via phone). The FBI said, “These threats are being investigated as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes.” The FBI’s investigation includes 31 FBI field offices.

IMPACT ON HBCUS

“Significant and lasting damage has been done by threatening the safety and security of the students, faculty, and staff at these institutions. As a result of these threats, learning has been disrupted, critical resources have been diverted to emergency response, and there has been an increased burden on already overwhelmed campus mental health systems.” – White House statement

GRANT FUNDING

• Grants of $50k -$150k are available to HBCUs that received bomb threats – available through Project Serv to enhance security and mental health initiatives for HBCUs that received bomb threat(s)
• Grants provide support after a traumatic event to affected local educational agencies (LEAs) or institutions of higher education (IHEs) to meet acute needs and restore the learning environment
White House Fact Sheet

Challenges Faced

• Communications with staff and coordination to help manage cordon
• Length of time to evacuate buildings
• Communicating relevant info. to just those impacted vs. blanket comms
• Fielding high volume of calls from executives seeking status
• Requesting/coordinating staff from adjacent campus

LESSONS LEARNED – COMMAND & CONTROL

• Use SafeZone Command software to visualize all resources available, by function, and by location
• Single pane to verify security and other personnel are deployed as ordered
• Use tools to optimally position officers and staff to manage cordons – verify they stay in place
• Share scene overview and resource availability with local police to collaborate

LESSONS LEARNED - EVACUATION

• Using RAs and Fire Marshals to evacuate students faster
• Send SMS push message to ask all staff and students in given area to check in to verify they’re accounted for
• Have staff check in to assist with building evacuation, perimeter control

LESSONS LEARNED - COMMUNICATIONS

• Targeted comms to those in a particular area i.e. just those students in impacted buildings with evacuation instructions (Push, SMS etc.)
• Targeted comms to select functional groups i.e. fire marshals and building wardens to assist with evacuating a building
• Comms to executives with key updates, projected timeframes for resolution
• Mass comms to entire community regarding closed buildings/streets
• Give ‘all clear’ via push/SMS messages + social media + email

LESSONS LEARNED – WORKFLOWS

• Notify those who enter a geofenced area about evacuation and safe distance requirements
• Heads-up to mental health personnel to make special accommodations to offer counseling to students
• Direct students/staff to a web page for status on evacuation instructions, closed areas, estimated duration of incident

LESSONS LEARNED – OPERATIONAL INSIGHTS

• Post-incident analysis /play back incident to see who responded where/when, and identifying opportunities to optimize response
• Using the recording to document response, and as a training aid