Public safety personnel or other personnel who have extensive contact with the public are in the best position to identify unusual packages, suspicious substances, and people who are acting suspiciously. However, they need to acquire skills in what to look for and how to respond skills that can be acquired through rigorous emergency planning, regular emergency testing and drills, and extensive training. Specifically, security personnel must engage in the four activities included in the ongoing screening process: assessing, identifying, evaluating, and acting. The tragic events surrounding the bomb attack at the Boston Marathon (2013); the terrorist train bombings in Mumbai (2006), Madrid (2004), and Moscow (2004), and on the subway in London (2005); the terrorist aircraft attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania; the ongoing suicide bomb attacks against buses in Israel; and, the Sarin attacks of the Tokyo subway system in 1995 are all terrible reminders of how vulnerable free nations' public is to terrorist attacks.
As these threats have increased and evolved, the US government has expanded its support for initiatives to prepare personnel to respond appropriately and safely to terrorist incidents involving CBRNE that are targeted at our infrastructure.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are supporting several major initiatives to improve the capability of agencies to respond to terrorist incidents. This Site Protection through Observational Techniques (SPOT) course is one of those major initiatives. It is designed to provide awareness-level training to public safety personnel.
During this course, participants will be provided with an overview of security operations that can be used to protect assets from terrorist acts. Participants will be able to incorporate the four elements of SPOT, including assessment, identification, evaluation, and action, into their standard practices.
- Define assessment and discuss its importance, and assess targets in terms of their criticality, threats, vulnerabilities, and existing security countermeasures and zone locations
- Identify preoperational activities of terrorists and criminals and evaluate those activities in relation to established baselines
- Describe appropriate actions, if any, to take based on previous evaluations as well as how to report those actions and related information.
- Participants will be able to successfully teach an indirect delivery of Site Protection through Observational Techniques (SPOT).