Though serious improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in America are relatively rare, with the majority of incidents related to criminal activities and mischief, significant plots are thwarted more frequently than commonly thought, according to Greenwich Police Chief Heavey, who warns, “We must be vigilant and not apathetic in the belief that it can’t happen here.”
On March 26, 2014, an observant citizen saw something suspicious and called the Greenwich Police. Officer Jeremy Bussell was the first officer on scene and used his training and experience to evaluate the situation with the best interest of public safety in mind. He noted the presence of specific possible indicators of an IED and found it prudent to activate a full suspicious package protocol. This protocol requires a methodical and time consuming investigation into the items and the situation. Investigation by subject matter experts in explosive devices and terrorist activities also responded. Ultimately it was determined the bag was harmless.
“I commend Officer Bussell for his dedication to duty and professionalism. Police officers are so often called out to evaluate different situations that often are not nearly as severe as first reported,” said Chief James Heavey in a statement. “Officers must investigate to determine the truth of the matter.”
Heavey said false alarms can lull residents into indifference, and not treat each incident as a potentially serious issue.
According to Heavey, Officer Bussell resisted what he described as an “all too human response” and acted decisively with the best interest of the Greenwich citizens in mind.
“It’s just this type of diligence that we hope other Fist Responders and citizens will emulate in keeping our community safe,” Heavey said.
In the statement, Heavey explained that local law enforcement works with partners at the State and Federal level in protecting the Americans from terrorist threats.
The Greenwich Police Chief said that as terrorist tactics continue to evolve, we must keep pace. “If You See Something, Say Something™” is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and violent crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement authorities.