Creating a suspicious item SOP

I’ve been having an interesting discussion with a friend and reader who is rightly concerned about the conundrum of responding to a call concerning a suspicious item. “Maybe it’s a bomb; maybe it’s someone’s nasty, dirty, garbage…”

The underlying problem is in being wrong; if we decide it isn’t a bomb and it is, then we add a name or two to the wall (which reminds me, have you donated lately? If we decide it IS a bomb and it isn’t, then we’ve got a lot of angry people who like to fire off emails. You know, the shop owners that couldn’t do business, the patrons that were oh so inconvenienced by rerouted traffic and closed sidewalks, supervisors eating antacids while calculating all the OT from the increased manpower (someone has to go block off all that stuff, right?). Don’t forget the hosedraggers, stretcher jockeys, light and power guys, EMA; all of the other people that need to show up at a bomb problem.

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