Sheriff Says No Credible Homeland Security Threats to Harford County
Intelligence Brief with County Executive Emphasizes Awareness and Preparedness
[April 16, 2013, Harford County, MD] — Harford County Public Safety officials, to include Law Enforcement, Emergency Management, the State Fire Marshal's Office, and County government met earlier today and are working proactively in partnership to ensure the safety of all Harford County residents. During an intelligence brief with County Executive David Craig, Sheriff Jesse Bane emphasized that while there are no credible threats directed at Harford County, he strongly suggests the County and County residents should be at a heightened awareness. "Our Intelligence Unit has been in contact with the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC), also known as Maryland's Law Enforcement Fusion Center," the Sheriff said, "and they do not have any threats relative to the Boston bombing or any other intelligence to suggest Harford County is at risk". Adding, "but that doesn't mean we should let our guard down. The incident in Boston should strongly serve to raise our awareness and sensitivity to suspicious circumstances but it doesn't mean we are under imminent threat".
Bane explained that immediately after the bombing in Boston, the Sheriff's Office Criminal Intelligence and Homeland Security Units began coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). He further explained an added advantage for the Sheriff's Office is that we have a deputy physically assigned to Maryland's JTTF, noting therefore that our intelligence is in real time. "While we are clearly concerned about the incident in Boston and need as much intelligence as we can get, the reality is we need to identify any threat to the county and so far there is none", he stated.
Bane wanted to make clear that while law enforcement agencies throughout the Country work extremely hard to prevent these types of incidents the reality is it can happen - and happen anywhere. The key he explained to mitigating such an event in Harford County is building resiliency within your community by proactive planning, preparedness and developing lines of effective communication with State and Federal Law Enforcement, Intelligence Organizations, elected officials, and the public. Bane highlighted his point and noted, "Police and fire departments train extensively, participate in tabletop and full scale exercises, develop and coordinate plans with Emergency Management, and share information with, not only, allied law enforcement but County Government and the public".
Bane said, the public needs to know that Harford County Law Enforcement is prepared and is asking everyone to be vigilant. "You will see increased police patrols at key critical infrastructure and increased police presence at public venues", he said, adding that security procedures may cause traffic and pedestrian delays. He suggested ways for the public to be involved include if you "See Something...Say Something". Report all suspicious activity to police, or call the statewide tip line at 1-800-492-TIPS. This phone line is staffed 24 hours a day by a live person. Be cognizant of your surroundings at all times and have an awareness of people who may be acting suspicious and do not hesitate to report their actions to law enforcement and/or security officials. "Our vigilance only works if everyone is working toward the same public safety goal", Bane concluded.
Commenting on the Homeland Security briefing, County Executive David R. Craig said, "I appreciate the efforts of Sheriff Bane, our local law enforcement officers, Maryland State Police, State Fire Marshal and others who are working around the clock in gathering the latest and most accurate intelligence information regarding the events in Boston. Although there are no apparent credible threats directed at our community, our law enforcement officials are closely monitoring events and are prepared to take appropriate actions to mitigate any such acts", County Executive Craig added.