The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) hosts a training course that is meant to help first responders react to emergency situations.
The training is also trying to bring terrorists to justice by teaching first responders to identify evidence in an emergency situation.
“If it’s a CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives) incident, the FBI is going to investigate,” David Blaker, HEC instructor at the CDP, said. “But, most likely, the first responders on that scene will be local, not federal. The decisions they make and the actions they take are vital when it comes to evidence. And even when the FBI arrives, they will likely rely on some of those same responders for support during the investigation.”
Blaker served as a New Jersey police officer for 31 years. He believes one of the most important aspects of the training is to teach responders to protect the evidence from being contaminated or lost.
“Federal prosecutors will prosecute the case, so the preservation of evidence by first responders who understand federal protocols is very important,” he said.
The training is in response to events that have happened in the past.
“The sarin attack in the Tokyo subway in 1995, of course 9-11 -- there’s a long list of events, unfortunately, that demonstrate that the threat of a CBRNE event is very real,” Kent Latimer, chief of the CDP's Training Management branch, said. “This course teaches responders what to look for and what to protect on the scene. It teaches them to recognize evidentiary value and methodologies critical to the preservation of evidence.”