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Shipping and handling bombs

Photo by Josh Crow

In October, numerous makeshift bombs were sent in the mail to notable political figures across the country. William Hunt, former U.S. Marshal and current Chief of ORU Security, wants to prioritize student protection in the case of a threat.

“The campus post office will notify our office,” Hunt said. “We will check it out if they appear to be any type of IED (improvised explosive device). I would encourage everyone on campus to call security if they find anything suspicious. That could be a backpack, a briefcase or anything that could be a package.”

During his time as a U.S. Marshal, Hunt was deployed on the ground during the 1999 Oklahoma City bombing. He witnessed firsthand the aftermath of a bomb and how long it took for responders to arrive. His expertise in the field offered a unique perspective on the purported bombs in the news.

“The interesting thing is that I’m not sure if there was the intention to detonate,” Hunt said regarding the investigated bombs. “From what I see on the news, I don’t know if they could have actually exploded those devices.”

In the case of a questionable package, Hunt and ORU Security already have a plan for the campus’ safety.

“If I thought there was a suspicious package, I would order an immediate evacuation and I would call in the Tulsa Bomb Squad,” Hunt said. “I’m personal friends with the commander of the Tulsa Bomb Squad. We served on a mission together. I have his personal number on my cellphone and I can call him anytime.”

Along with the Oklahoma City bombing in 1999, Hunt was also a commander of a unit of Marshals on ground in Arlington, VA, during the Anthrax Letter attacks surrounding 9/11.

Hunt mentioned several signs to knowing when a suspicious package is sent by mail, some of which include odd stains, disturbing smells and unknown addresses.

“For example, what I learned from watching the news reports is that the return address for these packages was Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who was the Democratic Party Chairman. Yeah, that would be suspicious,” said Hunt.

If and when encountering unknown mail, act with caution and say something. Be vigilant and safe and make no attempts to open or touch it. Report it to campus police by visiting the office or by calling the toll-free number 918-495-7750.