DHS and TSA offer parking anti-terrorism training
Terrorists often use parked cars or trucks to carry, conceal or serve as bombs, so the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are offering a free parking-specific training program for local government officials. The training comes in the form of DHS and TSA’s First Observer software module.
The First Observer training program, which is entirely funded by the federal government, trains parking professionals to address five critical security areas: on-street, surface parking lots, garages/decks, special events and shuttle operations. First Observers recognize and report potential threats using a concise, accurate and simple communications process.
First Observer was developed with the help of the Fredericksburg, Va.-based parking industry trade association International Parking Institute (IPI). “Since the program was launched, more than 2,000 parking professionals have earned First Observer certificates, and we expect this number to increase significantly,” said IPI’s Executive Director Shawn Conrad.
The program supports DHS’s National Preparedness Guidelines. It is available three ways: as an online training module; as an onsite classroom-style training session; or as a train-the-trainer workshop.
More information is available on IPI’s website. Organizations that want to schedule a free training session may contact IPI Deputy Director Henry Wallmeyer at [email protected] or 540-371-7535, ext. 21.