On April 18, 2013, IACP’s Capitol Police Section held their midyear meeting via webinar. Members from state capitols across the U.S., as well as from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., participated in the e-meeting.
One of the areas of concern that the members identified was a recent increase in calls at the capitols to respond to suspicious letters and packages. Given recent events, including the recent interception of ricin-laced letters sent to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), leaders from Capitol Police indicate that there may be an increase in this kind of activity nationwide.
The Capitol Section members recommend that now is the time for all law enforcement to review their SOPs for responding to suspicious letters and packages and also to update contacts with the U.S. Postal Inspectors (the US Postal Service oversees the Dangerous Mail Investigations Program). Safety for officers and the community is paramount, so being prepared for this sort of high risk response is critical.
The Capitol Police Section will meet again at the annual meeting in Philadelphia on Monday, October 21st at 9:00 am. For more information about this safety recommendation or on the Capitol Police Section, contact section chair Captain Michael Spochart.