Butler County Engineer
Greg Wilkens reports that BCEO road crews and construction inspection
employees took part today in a national anti-terror training
program called First Observer. Operated under a cooperative
agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Trucking
Security Program (TSP), First Observer is a national safety
and security program that enlists the skills and experiences
of America's transportation professionals to observe, assess,
and report incidents, circumstances, and suspicious activities
that might intrude on the safety of the United States, according
to program presenter Captain Ray Brown, Master Trainer with Total
Security Services International, Inc.
"Today's was only the
second presentation of the program in the country as it is being
modified and tweaked," said co-presenter Utah Bailey of
the Butler County Sheriff's Office. "We appreciate the Engineer's
Office allowing us to present the program and solicit feedback
before it actually goes national."
BCEO road crews also
participated in an earlier version of the anti-terror training
three years ago when it was known as Highway Watch. The
new First Observer program is similar but has been updated
based on current security trends and to include more inter- and
intra-city buses. BCEO crews were chosen since they spend the
majority of their work time in the field -- on the roads, at
construction sites, and close to our roadway infrastructure.
They are now officially certified First Observers -- certified
to call a special hotline and report possible terrorist activity.
The mission of First
Observer is to administer an anti-terrorism and security
awareness program for highway professionals in support of the
National Preparedness Guidelines. A key component of the program
is to recruit volunteers from the trucking, motor coach carriers,
and school bus industries to act as "first observers"
in reporting suspicious activities of either a criminal or potential
terrorist nature to authorities.
and earlier versions of it have had success in disrupting terrorist
plans inside the United States," said Captain Brown. "Common
people that we've trained have picked up on terrorist casing
and surveillance, and notification has led to a disruption of
To learn more about
First Observer, please visit the program's web site at www.FirstObserver.com.
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For more information
Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S.,
Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 Fax 513.867.5849