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Law Enforcement Personnel Prepare for Incidents Like White Powder Finds

1-31-14

Suspicious envelopes containing a white substance turned up at hotels in and around the Meadowlands today. The FBI is calling the substance harmless and Public Safety Director of Jersey City Jim Shea told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that everyone involved can be satisfied with the response that took place today because when large, Tier One events happen, multiple scenarios — like what happened today — are planned for.

Shea said that when he heard about what happened at the hotels in Bergen County, a plan was put in place for the hotels in Jersey City to make sure similar envelopes did not arrive. He said he is happy to say that none have arrived so far.

Everyone involved can be satisfied with the response today, Shea said. He said that the response to an episode like this involves coordinaton. First, state, local and federal responders have to work together to respond and take charge of the letters to make sure that no one is hurt by them and the substance is not hazardous.

Once it is determined that the substance is safe, it goes into an investigation phase led by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the task force also includes state, federal and local partners to work together to solve these crimes.

“The Super Bowl is a Tier One event. There are multiple assets here to handle any possible scenario. This one has been anticipated and planned for just like multiple others. Sadly, like in 2001, white powder letters are a fact of life. Just abut every major police department has assets to deal with them,” Shea said.