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bomb squad madness again


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While checking out a very interesting site dedicated maps http://geocartablog.com/?p=1212#comment-874 I came across this story about law enforcement, bomb squads and geocaches. The author then suggest that geocaches need to be more proactive regarding our activities.

 

Geocaching last Sunday morning (2AM) ran into the police. They were saying they didn't hear of geocaching by name but when I described what it is they said "Oh yeah, we had a bulletin about that". Mind you these were airport police. They said that they were warned that not all "containers" were pipe bombs.

 

I'm thinking of going to the police station to give them the address of geocaching so that if they get a call on a pipe bomb, they can first check to see if its listed asa a cache.

 

I would recommend this to anyone who feels it is a good idea.

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Great idea but it won't make any difference. If the bomb squad is called out they are going to blow things up. Even if the cache owner is standing next to them saying it is his or her cache.

 

Yup. That's why you have to hide your caches well enough so they don't get wrastro'd.

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I'm thinking of going to the police station to give them the address of geocaching so that if they get a call on a pipe bomb, they can first check to see if its listed asa a cache.

 

You know what would be great? If there was... oh, I dunno, some kind of website where you could enter your location and see if there are any caches nearby. :lol:

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I'm thinking of going to the police station to give them the address of geocaching so that if they get a call on a pipe bomb, they can first check to see if its listed asa a cache.

 

You know what would be great? If there was... oh, I dunno, some kind of website where you could enter your location and see if there are any caches nearby. :lol:

 

Isn't that what I said? :D

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Great idea but it won't make any difference. If the bomb squad is called out they are going to blow things up. Even if the cache owner is standing next to them saying it is his or her cache.

 

For the sake of the newcomers here, this is not just mere speculation. This has happened. We have also seen a report of a film cannister being blown up. Really.

 

While you'd think that making the LEO's aware of the website would help, and it actually has in a couple of reports that we've seen posted here, it is not likely to. For various reasons, they usually like to shoot first, ask questions later.

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I'm thinking of going to the police station to give them the address of geocaching so that if they get a call on a pipe bomb, they can first check to see if its listed asa a cache.

 

You know what would be great? If there was... oh, I dunno, some kind of website where you could enter your location and see if there are any caches nearby. :lol:

 

Isn't that what I said? :D

 

I guess so, but I read it as "Give them the addresses to the geocaches nearby". Looking back in hindsight it was my mistake and not yours.

 

Ignore my sarcasm - it was directed at the cops who didn't do thier jobs with some basic research before blowing the crap out of a tupperware container.

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I guess it would be snarky to suggest looking for the previous twenty or so threads like this, so just let me say:

 

Put yourself in the bomb tech guys shoes.

 

You get a callout from your command to investigate a suspicious container.

 

When you get there and look it has a geocaching sticker on it.

 

While you're x-raying it someone tells you "This website says that there is something called a geocache hidden here somewhere"

 

Now, are you going to walk over and pick it up?

 

Not if you want to STAY in your shoes!

 

There are old bomb techs and bold bomb techs, but there are no old bold bomb techs! :laughing:

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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I guess it would be snarky to suggest looking for the previous twenty or so threads like this, so just let me say:

 

Put yourself in the bomb tech guys shoes.

 

You get a callout from your command to investigate a suspicious container.

 

When you get there and look it has a geocaching sticker on it.

 

While you're x-raying it someone tells you "This website says that there is something called a geocache hidden here somewhere"

 

Now, are you going to walk over and pick it up?

 

Not if you want to STAY in your shoes!

 

There are old bomb techs and bold bomb techs, but there are no old bold bomb techs! :laughing:

 

If that were the case then there would have been a LOT more geocaches destroyed by now.

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I guess it would be snarky to suggest looking for the previous twenty or so threads like this

 

Maybe, but for those that are interested in this subject, a search for geocache bomb and a few hours (or days) spent reading the threads will be very enlightening. There is a wealth of experiences, opinions, and debates on the matter in the archives.

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I guess it would be snarky to suggest looking for the previous twenty or so threads like this, so just let me say:

 

Put yourself in the bomb tech guys shoes.

 

You get a callout from your command to investigate a suspicious container.

 

When you get there and look it has a geocaching sticker on it.

 

While you're x-raying it someone tells you "This website says that there is something called a geocache hidden here somewhere"

 

Now, are you going to walk over and pick it up?

 

Not if you want to STAY in your shoes!

 

There are old bomb techs and bold bomb techs, but there are no old bold bomb techs! :laughing:

 

If that were the case then there would have been a LOT more geocaches destroyed by now.

There have been a lot of caches destroyed. Some body had quite an extensive bookmark list going. Pretty much it depends how the thing is called in. If the bystander tells the cops they think it is some kind of drug drop the response is different than if they say suspicious package or bomb the bomb squad gets called out. The first officer on the scene can also steer the response. He isn't trained in bomb response so it can go either way. Once the bomb squad gets called into the mix they have a totally different set of standards and procedures. There only job is to "Make Safe" whatever they find. In their world that means detonate. The way they see it is if it is a geocache and they clear everyone out and blast it no harm no foul. Everyone gets to go home. If they assume it is a harmless box of McToys and the next person to open it finds out they were wrong someone doesn't get to go home. Ever! So they "Make Safe". We loose a few caches every year to this. In the grand scheme of things it is no big deal. The big problem comes when some knucklehead with authority, real or imagined, gets it in his head that someone has got to pay for it all. I'm not sure but I don't think they have been able to make it stick, yet.

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I guess it would be snarky to suggest looking for the previous twenty or so threads like this, so just let me say:

 

Put yourself in the bomb tech guys shoes.

 

You get a callout from your command to investigate a suspicious container.

 

When you get there and look it has a geocaching sticker on it.

 

While you're x-raying it someone tells you "This website says that there is something called a geocache hidden here somewhere"

 

Now, are you going to walk over and pick it up?

 

Not if you want to STAY in your shoes!

 

There are old bomb techs and bold bomb techs, but there are no old bold bomb techs! :laughing:

 

When all your solutions are hammers, every problem starts to look like a nail.

 

But lets back up a tad... The bomb squad isn't the first guy to show up. There is a cop who arrives before the bomb squad. That cop has a job to do and blowing up private property without an investigation is silly.

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The big problem comes when some knucklehead with authority, real or imagined, gets it in his head that someone has got to pay for it all. I'm not sure but I don't think they have been able to make it stick, yet.

 

I am fully aware of those knuckleheads. They have gone from "protect the public" to "punish the public". It's gotten sickening how those "authority figures" think they are above the people who pay their salaries, whether through taxes or hefty fines for ridiculous things.

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The big problem comes when some knucklehead with authority, real or imagined, gets it in his head that someone has got to pay for it all. I'm not sure but I don't think they have been able to make it stick, yet.

 

I am fully aware of those knuckleheads. They have gone from "protect the public" to "punish the public". It's gotten sickening how those "authority figures" think they are above the people who pay their salaries, whether through taxes or hefty fines for ridiculous things.

 

It's a shame when there is that base need to exact revenge for having been called to a scene. I hope that doesn't happen too often :laughing:

 

Alabama Rambler makes a great point though that you can't make assumptions when you're assessing a potential threat. Of course that means taking all of the circumstances in mind and acting appropriately. gof1 also made a really great post about the mental process that goes on in the response. I would prefer 1,000 (arbitrary large number) geocaches be exploded than have a bomb assumed to be a geocache take a life. If it's tupperware in the woods it's one thing... a PVC tube in a wal mart parking lot is another... Just takes the professionalism and experience of these people to know what call to make.

 

Side note: I am in a town near some facilities guarding the most top secret material in the country; I also am in a town where there are some of the oddest. smartest, least street-wise people in the world. This makes for odd behaviors and odd activities all watched with some amusement and annoyance by careful professionals. This means some pretty funny balancing acts; the security force here has really got to be on their toes :D This means the occasional briefcase is blown up but that's a far better price than a person :laughing:

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The big problem comes when some knucklehead with authority, real or imagined, gets it in his head that someone has got to pay for it all. I'm not sure but I don't think they have been able to make it stick, yet.

 

I am fully aware of those knuckleheads. They have gone from "protect the public" to "punish the public". It's gotten sickening how those "authority figures" think they are above the people who pay their salaries, whether through taxes or hefty fines for ridiculous things.

 

It's a shame when there is that base need to exact revenge for having been called to a scene. I hope that doesn't happen too often :D

 

Alabama Rambler makes a great point though that you can't make assumptions when you're assessing a potential threat. Of course that means taking all of the circumstances in mind and acting appropriately. gof1 also made a really great post about the mental process that goes on in the response. I would prefer 1,000 (arbitrary large number) geocaches be exploded than have a bomb assumed to be a geocache take a life. If it's tupperware in the woods it's one thing... a PVC tube in a wal mart parking lot is another... Just takes the professionalism and experience of these people to know what call to make.

 

Side note: I am in a town near some facilities guarding the most top secret material in the country; I also am in a town where there are some of the oddest. smartest, least street-wise people in the world. This makes for odd behaviors and odd activities all watched with some amusement and annoyance by careful professionals. This means some pretty funny balancing acts; the security force here has really got to be on their toes :laughing: This means the occasional briefcase is blown up but that's a far better price than a person :laughing:

Imagine what they do in the truly secret places. The places we don't know the names of. :laughing:

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Imagine what they do in the truly secret places. The places we don't know the names of. :laughing:

 

Hah true.. although I think here it's more the sheer numbers of very smart, very odd people all piled into a place that was picked to be remote and was secret until after WWII that combines for some hilarity. The grocery store is constantly packed with these oddballs behaving oddly (totally rationally to them)... today we were walking by a park where this dad was putting his baby down the slide catching him at the bottom... totally normal until we remarked "good catch!" and he replied that it wasn't really necessary and rattled off about the coefficient of friction... We walked on with a smile and an "only here!"

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let's not forget that when taxpayer funded agencies spend huge amounts of money on fancy equipment, they like to show everyone that there was a need for the equipment by using it as often as they can.

 

you just know that in every town with bomb equipment there would be one crackpot at town meeting or whatever they have in uncivilized states complaining that they paid for it and it wasn't getting any use.

 

me, if my tax dollars pay for bomb equipment or fire engines or ambulances that NEVER get used, ever, i'd be a happy person.

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Why is everyone so afraid that every camouflaged box or object HAS to be a bomb or something else harmful. How often do we have bombs going off in this country? How often do people actually run across a bomb? I've never done it. The first time I ran across an ammo box geocache without knowing about geocaching I just thought it was a cool box, opened it, and learned about geocaching. What has caused these people to be so afraid and suspect them as a bomb when no one has ever found an actual bomb hidden in this country...just a tragic consequence of life today...

 

and come on people do a better job of concealing and hiding your geocaches

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Imagine what they do in the truly secret places. The places we don't know the names of. :laughing:

 

Hah true.. although I think here it's more the sheer numbers of very smart, very odd people all piled into a place that was picked to be remote and was secret until after WWII that combines for some hilarity. The grocery store is constantly packed with these oddballs behaving oddly (totally rationally to them)... today we were walking by a park where this dad was putting his baby down the slide catching him at the bottom... totally normal until we remarked "good catch!" and he replied that it wasn't really necessary and rattled off about the coefficient of friction... We walked on with a smile and an "only here!"

 

What, do you work in Eureka? :D

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Imagine what they do in the truly secret places. The places we don't know the names of. :laughing:

 

Hah true.. although I think here it's more the sheer numbers of very smart, very odd people all piled into a place that was picked to be remote and was secret until after WWII that combines for some hilarity. The grocery store is constantly packed with these oddballs behaving oddly (totally rationally to them)... today we were walking by a park where this dad was putting his baby down the slide catching him at the bottom... totally normal until we remarked "good catch!" and he replied that it wasn't really necessary and rattled off about the coefficient of friction... We walked on with a smile and an "only here!"

 

What, do you work in Eureka? :D

Did you notice the "from" line under his avatar?

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And if the police just blow off the call assuming it's a cache but it turns out to be a bomb, then what? It's not like your job where you forget to put a pickle on someone's Big Mac. That's an oops. No one gets hurts and tomorrow's another day. But in LE it's entirely different. Make the wrong decision just once and people get hurt. It's amazing there are so many "experts" whose only knowledge of LE is from what they see on TV. Real life isn't TV.

As far as someone saying "I've never found a bomb so therefore it's not a real issue." is just plain naive. We get calls quite a bit of real bombs that the public never knows about. When you hear about a person placing a bomb you can be sure the bomber has left on average 10 practice bombs that didn't detonate. That's the average. The bombers practice in remote locations. On average they'll build 10 practice devices that don't work but they leave where they were. We get those calls and just because the public never hears of it doesn't mean a thing. The fact remains they're still out there.

The whiners who are crying "they blew up a cache" are the same people who will be screaming ot high heaven if LE didn't do anything and someone got hurt. Why? Because they're the know-it-alls who watch CSI and all the cop shows and think that's the way real life is.

Edited by Wadcutter
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I am OK with the occasional cache being detonated. It is just a risk in this game. I just don't want to see the game harmed with these rare instances. We should all evaluate our geocaches periodically for environmental impact and the effectiveness of the camouflage. Both of these things affect our image in the public eye or lack of image in their eye.

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The bomb squad isn't the first guy to show up. There is a cop who arrives before the bomb squad.

That cop has a job to do and blowing up private property without an investigation is silly.

Very true. (Sorta...)

The caviat being, the initial responder is almost never the person who decides to blow up the suspicious object.

 

Calling "The Man" to a suspicious object initiates a chain of events:

 

1 ) Initial responder arrives and investigates.

2 ) Initial responder reports his/her findings to their immediete supervisor.

2a ) If the object is determined to be harmless, their job is done. If not:

3 ) The supervisor (sometimes through another step in the chain of command) contacts EOD.

4 ) EOD makes it go "Boom!"

5 ) A report is generated to document the incident.

6 ) Someone gathers up the bits & pieces.

6a ) Maybe tech services, maybe EOD, usually not the initial responder.

7 ) An investigator gets assigned the case.

8 ) Usually, that's the end of it. In very rare occasions, some fidiot way up the chain will decide justice must be served.

8a ) This is often followed by a lot of pompous blowhardery for the news media. "We're gonna find out whose responsible and file charges!"

9 ) The State Attorney's Office quitely chimes in that no crime has been committed.

10 ) The pompous blowhard goes back to his/her office till the next "sensational" event.

 

I've been the initial responder literally hundreds of times since I started my LEO career in '82.

 

I've had EOD respond once, out of all those hundreds of "suspicious" objects.

(It was a very well made improvized device, which they took care of nicely)

 

The remaining several hundred "suspicious" objects were determined to be safe, by me, on scene.

 

It's amazing what you can do when you apply a little commen sense.

Edited by Clan Riffster
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From your profile:

Retired police officer (Captain - 27 yrs, 35+ yrs total LE)

Retired military (Major - 26.5 yrs, 13.5 enlisted / 13 commissioned)

 

Those are some very impressive credentials, however, the last part of your post bothered me:

 

The whiners who are crying "they blew up a cache" are the same people who will be screaming ot high heaven if LE didn't do anything and someone got hurt. Why? Because they're the know-it-alls who watch CSI and all the cop shows and think that's the way real life is.

 

The considerable leap of logic and juvinile emotional tone in those final statements give me pause, and cause me to want to ignore the logic of the rest of what you stated in your post.

Edited by knowschad
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From your profile:

Retired police officer (Captain - 27 yrs, 35+ yrs total LE)

Retired military (Major - 26.5 yrs, 13.5 enlisted / 13 commissioned)

In my 35 yrs at the federal and state level I've been on more than enough bomb calls. I've seen the results when someone didn't follow procedures. I've seen the results when people assumed "couldn't be a bomb". It's not anything like you see in your TV shows. BTDT, wore out the t-shirt a long time ago.

 

The considerable leap of logic and juvinile emotional tone in those final statements give me pause, and cause me to want to ignore the logic of the rest of what you stated in your post.

If you'd spent 35 years of listening to "experts" tell us how to do our job based on what they've seen on TV then you would know what I posted is exactly correct. People wouldn't dare think of telling their doctor who to treat them, their auto mechanic how to fix their car, or their electrician how to wire their house, yet when it comes to LE issues everyone suddenly becomes an "expert" and think they know all there is to know. These are the same "experts" who have never read a statute, know nothing about court rulings, or know anything about legal standards. Yet they've watched TV enough that they think that's real life and they expect the police to do it the way they see it on TV. Sorry, that's not the way it is. There are no second chances with these things. You screw up in your job and the worst that can happen is you might lose your job. If the police screw up making the call on a bomb report people can lose their lives.

Edited by Wadcutter
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The whiners who are crying "they blew up a cache" are the same people who will be screaming ot high heaven if LE didn't do anything and someone got hurt. Why? Because they're the know-it-alls who watch CSI and all the cop shows and think that's the way real life is.
The considerable leap of logic and juvinile emotional tone in those final statements give me pause, and cause me to want to ignore the logic of the rest of what you stated in your post.

I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say, but if you're responding to "damned if you do and damned if you don't" point I think Wadcutter was making, I run into that a lot.

 

I don't have nearly the impressive LEO credentials (late-in-life career change / mid-life crisis), but one scenario I run in to a regular basis is when folks in a neighborhood complain about speeders. The Traffic Unit does a study and sure 'nough, they've got a real speeding problem (versus a perceived problem where only a very, very few folks speed any appreciable amount). Okay, so the Traffic Unit adds the neighborhood to a list for the patrol officers to start targeting for speeders. We sit and run a little radar. Guess what? We pull over the very folks who complain about the speeders. BAM! Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

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From your profile:

Retired police officer (Captain - 27 yrs, 35+ yrs total LE)

Retired military (Major - 26.5 yrs, 13.5 enlisted / 13 commissioned)

In my 35 yrs at the federal and state level I've been on more than enough bomb calls. I've seen the results when someone didn't follow procedures. I've seen the results when people assumed "couldn't be a bomb". It's not anything like you see in your TV shows. BTDT, wore out the t-shirt a long time ago.

 

The considerable leap of logic and juvinile emotional tone in those final statements give me pause, and cause me to want to ignore the logic of the rest of what you stated in your post.

If you'd spent 35 years of listening to "experts" tell us how to do our job based on what they've seen on TV then you would know what I posted is exactly correct. People wouldn't dare think of telling their doctor who to treat them, their auto mechanic how to fix their car, or their electrician how to wire their house, yet when it comes to LE issues everyone suddenly becomes an "expert" and think they know all there is to know. These are the same "experts" who have never read a statute, know nothing about court rulings, or know anything about legal standards. Yet they've watched TV enough that they think that's real life and they expect the police to do it the way they see it on TV. Sorry, that's not the way it is. There are no second chances with these things. You screw up in your job and the worst that can happen is you might lose your job. If the police screw up making the call on a bomb report people can lose their lives.

 

Very well said. And very true.

 

I work in the medical field but do it in people's homes as a visiting health nurse. I see people in their own environments who frequently have had some interaction with law enforcement at some point in their lives. The often disparaging things I hear them say about LE quite simply amazes me. Many times they are just blowing off steam from their own incident - whatever that may be. But never do they seem to stop and think about anything from another perspective - the officer's, the judicial system, the innocent bystander's, etc. They just spout off from their very narrow POV about whatever and then act like they know everything there is to know the situation at hand.

 

And yes...these often are the very same people who wouldn't miss an episode of CSI. ;)

 

Sometimes I cannot believe that people actually think a television show is even close to reality. But they do. ;)

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People wouldn't dare think of telling their doctor who to treat them, their auto mechanic how to fix their car, or their electrician how to wire their house,

 

Just wanted to say - yeah, people do that all the time to doctors, mechanics, plumbers and all sorts of other support personnel. It might be worse for LEOs (I have never seen anyone objectively study it) but it is defiantly not unique. They even made a joke out of it on the TV pilot Royal Pains.

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Two questions Riffster.

1 ) Have you ever responded to a suspicious object and found a cache?

Yes. Off the top of my head, I can think of three. I had already found them, so I had a good idea what I was heading to.

To date, I have not responded to a cache I have not previously found. If I ever do, I'll probably log a find on it. ;)

I thought I was gonna break this streak when I got dispatched to an ammo box, painted camo, just off a new section of the Florida Trail.

It was full of spent bullet casings. :D Never did figure that one out. ;)

One other cache I know of got reported as "suspicious", but I was not one of the officers who responded.

Based on the location & description, I was able to tell the responding officers what cache it was. I think they signed the logbook.

 

2 ) And what makes you think there is anything common about sense.

Is that a rhetorical question? ;):D

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From your profile:

Retired police officer (Captain - 27 yrs, 35+ yrs total LE)

Retired military (Major - 26.5 yrs, 13.5 enlisted / 13 commissioned)

In my 35 yrs at the federal and state level I've been on more than enough bomb calls. I've seen the results when someone didn't follow procedures. I've seen the results when people assumed "couldn't be a bomb". It's not anything like you see in your TV shows. BTDT, wore out the t-shirt a long time ago.

 

The considerable leap of logic and juvinile emotional tone in those final statements give me pause, and cause me to want to ignore the logic of the rest of what you stated in your post.

If you'd spent 35 years of listening to "experts" tell us how to do our job based on what they've seen on TV then you would know what I posted is exactly correct. People wouldn't dare think of telling their doctor who to treat them, their auto mechanic how to fix their car, or their electrician how to wire their house, yet when it comes to LE issues everyone suddenly becomes an "expert" and think they know all there is to know. These are the same "experts" who have never read a statute, know nothing about court rulings, or know anything about legal standards. Yet they've watched TV enough that they think that's real life and they expect the police to do it the way they see it on TV. Sorry, that's not the way it is. There are no second chances with these things. You screw up in your job and the worst that can happen is you might lose your job. If the police screw up making the call on a bomb report people can lose their lives.

 

Notice that I was not referring to what you said, but how you said it.

 

Also, I don't believe that you really let an auto mechanic work on your car without overseeing what he's doing and what he's charging you. Even honest auto mechanice make mistakes in judgement sometimes.

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FWIW I attended a five-day disaster planning course a few weeks ago put on by the Department of Homeland Security (IS-300&400) that was attended by 28 Police and Fire Department Chiefs from departments all over central Alabama.

 

I talked about the possibility of the perceived threat of geocaches popping up on their radar (interestingly, as many thousands of caches as are hidden around central Alabama only one of the Police Chiefs had heard of the game) and ALL of them agreed that if a cache is ever brought to their attention it will be treated as a threat until proven differently.

 

Also, the Helena AL Chief of Police didn't know about the game but assured me that geocaching would not be looked upon kindly in his town, promising that if a geocacher were stopped poking around behind his Wal-Mart there would be unpleasant results.

 

There are at least 500 caches within his city limits, including one behind 'his' Wal-Mart! ;););)

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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If you'd spent 35 years of listening to "experts" tell us how to do our job based on what they've seen on TV then you would know what I posted is exactly correct. People wouldn't dare think of telling their doctor who to treat them, their auto mechanic how to fix their car, or their electrician how to wire their house, yet when it comes to LE issues everyone suddenly becomes an "expert" and think they know all there is to know. These are the same "experts" who have never read a statute, know nothing about court rulings, or know anything about legal standards. Yet they've watched TV enough that they think that's real life and they expect the police to do it the way they see it on TV. Sorry, that's not the way it is. There are no second chances with these things. You screw up in your job and the worst that can happen is you might lose your job. If the police screw up making the call on a bomb report people can lose their lives.

 

Just curious, in the 1000+ physical caches that you've found across the country, did you ever once think that one of them might be an explosive device?

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It was full of spent bullet casings.

 

Spent bullet casings are quite valuable. I can't say why it's in the woods, but I know people who keep thier spent casings after target practice and sell them back to the gun shop when they are done. For many casings it's fairly easy to re-load them and there is quite a niche market for it.

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Wow I was not expecting this sort of response when I created this topic. I'm going to chime in with a couple of thoughts. Please keep in mind if you don't like my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it.

 

If a member of a bomb squad makes the call to blow up a geocache I can't fault him/her for making a judgement call. With any activity it's very easy to second guess someone else's decision. If it was my cache I would probably be a little annoyed and feel bad that it caused a bunch of drama and expense.

 

The main idea I came away from the article at http://geocartablog.com/?p=1212#comment-874 regarded "geocacher outreach". Like a lot of people who are "fully integrated" into the internet I have a tendency to assume everyone is as connected as I am. I caught myself saying "just google it" to my 80 year old neighbour last week.

 

My question (to anyone interested as well as myself) is 'have geocachers done done a good job reaching out to the people who manage the public spaces we play in?'

 

The the same way people have created standard geocaching labels and info sheets do we need to create a "land manager docuement" (for lack of a better term). If so is anyone reading this willing help to create one?

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If you'd spent 35 years of listening to "experts" tell us how to do our job based on what they've seen on TV then you would know what I posted is exactly correct. People wouldn't dare think of telling their doctor who to treat them, their auto mechanic how to fix their car, or their electrician how to wire their house, yet when it comes to LE issues everyone suddenly becomes an "expert" and think they know all there is to know. These are the same "experts" who have never read a statute, know nothing about court rulings, or know anything about legal standards. Yet they've watched TV enough that they think that's real life and they expect the police to do it the way they see it on TV. Sorry, that's not the way it is. There are no second chances with these things. You screw up in your job and the worst that can happen is you might lose your job. If the police screw up making the call on a bomb report people can lose their lives.

 

Just curious, in the 1000+ physical caches that you've found across the country, did you ever once think that one of them might be an explosive device?

 

Speaking only for me no. When I go caching I know I am looking for a container of some type at location X. When John Q. Public finds a container they were not expecting it. Unless Johny Lawman is a geocacher who has a previous find on the casche or his GPS with him he isn't expecting a container to be there. The only thing I have ever found that I thought was a bomb was the bomb I found, or rather the one that the civilian pointed out to me while I was an MP in the army.

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For the sake of the newcomers here, this is not just mere speculation. This has happened. We have also seen a report of a film cannister being blown up. Really.

 

While you'd think that making the LEO's aware of the website would help, and it actually has in a couple of reports that we've seen posted here, it is not likely to. For various reasons, they usually like to shoot first, ask questions later.

 

Too many Sargent Stadankos and Barney Fifes as LEOs these days ????

 

"Remember kid's, only dopes use dope" Ya - you must use a lot..... ;)

 

BarneyFife.jpg

Edited by Frank Broughton
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The the same way people have created standard geocaching labels and info sheets do we need to create a "land manager docuement" (for lack of a better term). If so is anyone reading this willing help to create one?

Are you suggesting we simply inform land stewards we are using their land instead of asking permission?

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From your profile:

Retired police officer (Captain - 27 yrs, 35+ yrs total LE)

Retired military (Major - 26.5 yrs, 13.5 enlisted / 13 commissioned)

In my 35 yrs at the federal and state level I've been on more than enough bomb calls. I've seen the results when someone didn't follow procedures. I've seen the results when people assumed "couldn't be a bomb". It's not anything like you see in your TV shows. BTDT, wore out the t-shirt a long time ago.

 

The considerable leap of logic and juvinile emotional tone in those final statements give me pause, and cause me to want to ignore the logic of the rest of what you stated in your post.

If you'd spent 35 years of listening to "experts" tell us how to do our job based on what they've seen on TV then you would know what I posted is exactly correct. People wouldn't dare think of telling their doctor who to treat them, their auto mechanic how to fix their car, or their electrician how to wire their house, yet when it comes to LE issues everyone suddenly becomes an "expert" and think they know all there is to know. These are the same "experts" who have never read a statute, know nothing about court rulings, or know anything about legal standards. Yet they've watched TV enough that they think that's real life and they expect the police to do it the way they see it on TV. Sorry, that's not the way it is. There are no second chances with these things. You screw up in your job and the worst that can happen is you might lose your job. If the police screw up making the call on a bomb report people can lose their lives.

 

I'm glad you view the missing pickle as merely an oops, I wish the customers who feel they are deprived of their god given right to have exactly three pickle slices per mcburger were as casual about it as you. :D

 

Granted there are a lot more TV shows about the legal system than life behind the scenes in the restaurant world (although we do have a whole network now on cable). But don't think that your profession isn't the only one that deals with wannabe experts. I get asked on a regular basis why we don't put pickles in our tuna salad recipe, why don't you have peanut butter cookies, or told you should cook something this way instead of that way...

I don't deal with it that much at this location, but at plenty of previous jobs I've had customers gripe about the price of something when they can buy it for 1/3 that much in the store. Yup, but that one is raw, and doesn't come with everything else on the plate, nor this nice atmosphere, nor someone to clean up behind you and your family.

 

We all deal with armchair quaterbacks, some owners of virtual cachers even deal with armchair loggers. ;) (hey I had to get back OT somehow)

 

I'm glad we don't have more issues with LEO's and the bomb squad with our game. I do wonder about the thought process when a cache is placed with permission and the squad is still called out and destroys it though. But that scenario is probably a very very small % of the number of caches that went boom.

Even the Mass DOT had their traffic counters reported as suspicious devices a few years back. Paranoia isn't going away in our lifetime.

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The the same way people have created standard geocaching labels and info sheets do we need to create a "land manager docuement" (for lack of a better term). If so is anyone reading this willing help to create one?

Are you suggesting we simply inform land stewards we are using their land instead of asking permission?

 

In theory every land owner is aware of the caches on thier property... but, I suspect that's not necessarily true in practice.

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The whiners who are crying "they blew up a cache" are the same people who will be screaming ot high heaven if LE didn't do anything and someone got hurt. Why? Because they're the know-it-alls who watch CSI and all the cop shows and think that's the way real life is.

 

So true and so sad. The TV cops get it done many times. Too many of the real life ones are more concerned about resting so they have energy for their second job.

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...The author then suggest that geocaches need to be more proactive regarding our activities.

From the aritcle.

"Not everyone of these incidents gets posted here but there are enough of them in the news to indicate this is becoming a problem. Valuable emergency resources are being wasted by these calls."

The real problem isn't our daily lives. It's not the fun we have. It's not the toys we buy, the tools we use to do our jobs. It's not backpacks, tupperware, flashlights, whoopie cushions, that we ship items, eat exotic foods, or like to have a beverage on an airplane. All of those harmless things have generated a response.

 

The real issue is that there are folks out there trying to cause harm. When we creat a system, we get false alarms. It's a side effect of having a bomb squad and asking Joe Citizen to call in anything they think looks odd.

 

When in turn the system to deal with real bombs and threats starts banning the daily life it was designed to protect because of the lack of abilityt to discriminate between a jar of some strange food and a caustic chemical threat and the hissy fit temper tantrum some elected official throws when they learn that Kim Chee shut down part of an airport (made that up, I don't really know if that particualr incident was Kim Chee or something else) and they start banning life and how we live it. It's actually time to start pondering if we shouldn't perhaps get rid of the bomb squad and responce teams as they are now starting to cause as much if not more problems than the bombs and threats themselves.

 

However every now and then some wise official with a head on their shoulders says. "Hey, it was a cache, and we are glad it wasnt' the real thing. You keep on with life, and we will keep on responding as we should. The system worked. Next time while we will hope it's a false alarm, we may not be so lucky, but that's why we are here. To deal with the real threats."

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...If a member of a bomb squad makes the call to blow up a geocache I can't fault him/her for making a judgement call. With any activity it's very easy to second guess someone else's decision. ...

 

Hey, I don't mind them doing their job. If it comes to it I'll replace my cache container. I hold no grudge for the EOD guy out there doing his job.

 

It raises my hackles though when politicians get involved and start the wailing like a banshee, over wasted public resources for a system they created that works exactly as they intended and start picking up the pitchforks and torches to ban simple freedoms that they were trying to protect when they funded the bomb squad and anti terror groups to begin with.

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