ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

FY-04-01

Contact: Andrew L. Lluberes/Tom Hill

202-927-8500

For
Immediate Release
www.atf.gov

October 7, 2003

ATF
RELEASES NEW TRAINING PROGRAM TO

HELP SCHOOLS DEAL WITH BOMB THREATS

CD-ROM To Be Distributed to Schools and Public Safety Agencies

WASHINGTON
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today
unveiled a new program to help school administrators and State and local
public safety officials better prepare for bomb threats against the
nation's schools.

The
program, developed by ATF and the U.S. Department of Education, features
an interactive CD-ROM, "Bomb Threat Response: An Interactive Planning
Tool For Schools," and includes staff training presentations and
implementation resources. ATF will distribute the CD-ROM to State and
local law enforcement agencies and other first responders and DOE's
Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools will handle distribution to the
country's public school systems.

The
unique educational program delivers content via the CD-ROM, a supporting
Web site and quick-reference cards that allow school administrators
to develop a plan customized to their individual school. It draws on
ATF's knowledge of explosives incidents and DOE's understanding of the
nation's schools. ATF is the primary Federal expert on bombings, having
solved crimes involving bombings and arson for more than 30 years.

The
topics of the program include:

  • Understanding
    Bomb Threats
  • Prevention

  • Planning

  • Bomb
    Threat Response
  • Explosion
    Response
  • Follow-up
  • Training
    Aids
  • Implementation

"This
CD is a user-friendly tool that will help school administrators and
law enforcement and public safety officials protect our most valuable
resource: our children," said ATF Acting Director Bradley A. Buckles.
"We wish that bomb threat response plans were not necessary. Unfortunately,
we know it is almost inevitable that schools will receive bomb threats
and will need a plan for dealing with them. In today's world, we need
to be prepared for all potentially dangerous situations, even when they
turn out to be false alarms."

Bomb
threats cost the country's financially strapped education system millions
of dollars annually in lost classroom time and salaries of emergency
responders. Even though most bomb threats do not result in the discovery
of an explosive device, they create a climate of fear in the classroom.
In the 6 months after the Columbine High School shootings, schools in
the United States received 5,000 bomb threats, according to the National
School Safety Center.

"Bomb
Threat Response" focuses on providing a flexible process that will
work for any school while ensuring that each school creates an effective
plan tailored to its situation. ATF, a bureau within the Department
of Justice, and DOE officials have found that off-the-shelf plans are
not effective because every school and every school district are different
in terms of physical layout, school populations and resources available
in case of an emergency.

School
administrators and public safety officials may obtain copies of a "Bomb
Threat Response: An Interactive Planning Tool for Schools" and
additional information from the website: www.threatplan.org.
More information about ATF is available at www.atf.gov.

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