Policy: Bomb Threat Guidelines

PURPOSE

The purpose of this order is to establish the procedural guidelines for the handling of bomb threats, suspected devices and actual devices.

POLICY

The Michigan State University Police Department (Department) is committed to ensure a safe environment on campus. Due to the complexity of bomb threats, it is the policy of this Department that these procedures for responding to such incidents shall be followed.

DEFINITIONS

ContactMSU

The main information land-line for the University that can contact University departments for assistance or contact specific personnel.

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF)

Builds and maintains facilities and buildings incorporating the physical environment for MSU.

Emergency Action Teams (EAT)

Teams are located in each facility/building on campus, with members that are responsible for implementing emergency plans at the building level.

They can assist by providing building specific information during an incident or event.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

Protects the environment, human health, and ensures a safe workplace for all persons at MSU.

East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD)

Provides fire suppression services for the MSU East Lansing Campus.

Communication and Brand Strategy (CABS)

MSU’s central communication team responsible for media inquiries and public information dissemination.

PROCEDURES

Receipt of Information

Information is reported to the Cadet Information Desk, the 9-1-1 Central Dispatch or reported anonymously to a third person who reports it to this Department.

Upon answering a call, recipients should obtain as much information as safely possible concerning the threat.

When will the device explode?

Where will it explode?

What type of device is it?

What type of triggering mechanism does it have?

What event or events are occurring in the threatened area at this time, i.e., final exams, military research, controversial speaker, etc.?

Obtain as much information as is safely possible about the caller.

The exact wording used by the caller

Was the caller male or female?

Voice characteristics and pitch

Background noise

Other comments which may prove valuable in the investigation.

Fully identify the person contacting this Department.

All calls reporting a bomb threat received by ContactMSU shall be transferred to the Ingham County 9-1-1 Central Dispatch.

Dissemination of Information

Within the Department

Duty Supervisor

On-duty officers

Uniform Division Commander or designee

MSP operations (if a suspected device is located and the MSP Bomb Squad is needed).

East Lansing Fire Department

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In all cases give the fire department the complete information.

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Infrastructure, Planning and Facilities

In the event of an explosion; running water, steam and short electrical circuits may hamper rescue and fire-fighting operations.

An IPF representative is to be on site at the ICP.

IPF personnel will be able to disconnect electrical sources to the building in the event an explosion is anticipated.

IPF will be able to terminate the steam before it gets to the building if an explosion is imminent.

IPF may also be able to shut down the water supply, if needed.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

Must be notified of natural gas leaks or disruptions.

EHS or IPF will need to notify Consumers Energy Company of any natural gas leaks or disruptions

Local Health Services: If an explosion is anticipated, be sure the appropriate hospital is notified and sufficient medical personnel are available.

CABS: needs to be alerted of the situation

Initial Actions

The Incident Commander (IC) establishes the ICP at an appropriate location and includes the EAT Leader and/or building representative.

K-9’s will be utilized when possible.

When K-9’s are unavailable, search teams will be used. The team includes:

Police officers

Building personnel in areas familiar for them.

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Radio Caution

Radios may not be used if there is any reason to believe a radio transmission would cause detonation of the device.

This evaluation must be made at the time.

Characteristics of an Explosive Device

Anti-personnel devices may be encased in anything, i.e., a potted plant, attaché case, or a book.

Devices designed to do structural damage are usually more obvious, but are strategically placed to do the maximum amount of damage.

Any type of triggering device is feasible and limited only by the imagination of the perpetrator.

Key Considerations

Don’t move anything

Don’t poke anything

Don’t turn on lights

Don’t pick up anything or step over anything without examining it first.

Vehicles

Treat a vehicle same as a building

Establish safe perimeter at a minimum distance of 300 yards

The IC may call to speak to an expert, if there is time to secure the area

Evaluation of Information Received

The type of building involved is essential to determining the necessity for evacuation.

Classroom

Faculty offices

Administrative offices

Auditorium, Wharton, Breslin, or similar large venues

Report of a threat is to be relayed to the person in charge of the building by the Duty Supervisor and/or first officer on the scene.

Contact the Emergency Action Team (EAT) Leader, if they can be located.

Utilize alert and notification platforms, if appropriate to the situation.

If the EAT cannot be located, contact the person in charge of the affected portion of the building.

For classrooms, the building is primarily assigned to a college; so contact should be made with the Dean of that College.

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Pre-Evacuation Search

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The Incident Commander will remain at this location to oversee response and potential recovery if a device detonates.

The Incident Commander will have the building plans, mechanical room keys, master building keys that are delivered to the ICP.

If deemed safe, cellular phones may be used.

Search Procedures

The Incident Commander will designate areas of responsibility to be searched.

If a K-9 unit trained in the detection of explosives is on duty, they will be used as the primary search team.

The K-9 handler will evaluate the size of the area to be searched in relation to the capabilities of the canines.

Other personnel will be assigned to search those areas beyond the canine’s capabilities.

In the event of a situation where there is a strong possibility that the threat is authentic, the Incident Commander may obtain additional K-9 teams trained in the detection of explosives from other area departments by using the MSU Alert system or directly through 9-1-1 Central Dispatch.

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Fire or Explosion

If an explosion or fire occurs, follow policies on Fire and Explosion (OPR21).

The Senior Fire Official at the scene is in command of the inner perimeter and fire ground, including associated structures.

The Fire Official may choose to order an evacuation of all or part of the inner perimeter; adjacent areas and structures; including areas threatened by the spread of the incident; expand or contract the inner and/or outer perimeters; and/or direct that particular traffic, crowd control, and entry/exit measures be taken.

The MSU IC will take all actions necessary to accomplish such directives.