Police Explain How Citizens Can Balance Fear And Vigilance In The Wake Of The Boston Bombings

10:39 PM, Apr 18, 2013   |    comments
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Triad, NC -- On Wednesday, Greensboro Police responded to two suspicious objects that turned out to be false alarms.

The Hazardous Device Team with the Greensboro Police Department was called to inspect a suspicious object at West Friendly Avenue and Commerce Place shortly after 10 pm where an unattended suitcase had been left on the sidewalk.

Investigators said they determined the suitcase was empty.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Hazardous Device Team detonated an unattended backpack found at the corner of South Elm-Eugene and Patton Avenue. A robot was used to make sure the backpack was safe.

After two false alarms, we asked if paranoia and fear is interfering with someone's judgment of a credible threat.

News 2 talked to Burlington Police Captain Chad Slaughter and Greensboro Police Officer Trent Walker about balancing being on alert and being afraid.

Captain Slaughter explained that anything could be looked at as a suspicious object from a duffel bag to a suitcase to a flashlight. He said citizens need to use their judgment and consider the environment.

"Are there wires hanging out of the package? That would certainly give it credibility of being a threat. It could be a device of some type. Does the package have stains on it? Is there something leaking from it? That could certainly be a credible threat as well," said Captain Slaughter.

Officer Walker told WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford that hyper vigilance and extra precaution usually follows a tragic event like the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday.

Walker said, "That's just our nature as human beings. We tend to forget things as human beings over time and unfortunately it takes something tragic to jog our memories."

"It's because of the fear. The fear of it happening here. The fear of it happening in their own backyard," added Captain Slaughter.

Both Captain Slaughter and Officer Walker encourage citizens to call them if they suspect anything is out of the ordinary. Both departments would rather you call and have them check it out than not call and it turn out to be a credible threat.

WFMY News 2, Greensboro Police, Burlington Police

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